- Largest ever EIB and EIF engagement in Ireland delivers EUR 1.02 billion new investment including healthcare, education, transport and urban development
- EIB confirms new support in Ireland for sectors most vulnerable to Brexit
- More than 3,000 Irish companies to benefit from new European Investment Fund engagement
- Strong pipeline of social housing, renewable energy and corporate lending confirmed
The European Investment Bank Group today confirmed that more than EUR 1 billion of new financing was signed in 2017 for public and private sector investment across in Ireland. This represents the largest ever engagement in the country by Europe’s long-term lending institution since the start of Irish operations in 1973.
“I welcome the record billion Euro European Investment Bank Group engagement in Ireland last year. This is supporting transformational investment to improve lives and enhance economic opportunities across the country, including backing investment in sectors most vulnerable to Brexit. Regular meetings of the Ireland-EIB Financing Group and the new EIB Dublin office ensure that Ireland benefits from new opportunities for EIB financing under the Investment Plan for Europe. The Bank of the European Union is clearly delivering on commitments to enhance public and private sector activity in Ireland and I look forward to discussing how the EIB can further support the Government’s capital expenditure programme.” said Paschal Donohoe, Finance Minister and Governor of the European Investment Bank.
“2017 represented the largest ever annual financing by the European Investment Bank Group in Ireland and follows a steady increase in activity over the last 8 years. More than EUR 1 billion of new EIB and EIF financing signed last year is unlocking new investment in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin and around the country. Working with new public and private sector clients and in closer cooperation with Irish partners such Enterprise Ireland, IBEC, and SBCI is ensuring that a broader impact of the EU Bank than ever before in the country. Looking ahead the EIB expects to provide new financing to support priority investment in social housing and broadband, as well as helping firms most vulnerable to the uncertainties of Brexit.” said Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
Increased EIB support for Brexit financing confirmed
The EIB recognises the unique investment challenges and uncertainties facing Irish companies as a result of Brexit. Looking ahead the EIB expects to build on Brexit focused SME and midcap financing programmes agreed last year and further adapt financing in Ireland to reduce the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. New EIB financing programmes to support agriculture and agribusiness firms and Irish companies active in other sectors are also currently being developed.
Broadening EIB support across economic sectors
New EIB financing for investment in Ireland agreed last year included the EIB’s largest ever loan in the country, EUR 490 million for the National Children’s Hospital and the first backing for county-wide investment, as well as financing for education, transport and urban development. Support for business investment included new streamlined financing programme for Irish midcap companies and expanded engagement with SBCI and Microfinance Ireland.
Enhanced support for crucial public sector investment
Last year new EIB financing included support for the National Children’s Hospital and redevelopment of the Port of Cork, as well as new support for investment in Irish universities. A new EUR 60 million long-term loan to NUI Galway signed last year marked the successful completion of a dedicated initiative to support capital investment at all Irish universities launched in October 2015.
The EIB also expanded activity to support urban development and local infrastructure in partnership with Irish local authorities. This included a EUR 85 million loan for regeneration in central Limerick and EUR 70 million financing agreement with Fingal County Council that represents the first EIB support for county-wide investment in Ireland.
Improving financing for Irish companies
This week the EIB will agree a new EUR 30 million loan to support research and development by Galway med-tech company Aerogen, a world leader in aerosol drug delivery. This is the first loan under a new streamlined corporate finance programme available for Irish companies launched in Dublin last September.
European Investment Fund backing venture capital, SME financing and microfinance
European Investment Fund activity in Ireland last year totalled more than EUR 93 million of new operations. This included support for life-science and early stage venture capital funds, equity investment by business angels and new support for SME and tech companies with SBCI.
Ahead of today’s announcement Microfinance Ireland confirmed details of a new EUR 30 million EIF initiative to strengthen loans to female, young, senior and migrant micro-borrowers over the next five years that was signed in December.
Expectations for 2018
In 2018 new EIB Group financing in Ireland is expected to support new social housing, broadband and renewable energy investment alongside new lending for first time Midcap corporate clients and SMEs.