>@Andrea Morawski/EIB

- The European Investment Bank (EIB) is signing a new operation ahead of its annual press conference in Warsaw: a EUR 91m loan for the upgrade of the university hospitals in Gdansk and Lublin

- In 2018, EIB Group financing amounted to EUR 4.8bn, putting Poland in fifth place among EU countries in terms of funds received.  

- Poland also ranks fifth in terms of loans backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

- A record year (over EUR 1bn) for EIF portfolio guarantees reflects the soaring demand for financing from Poland’s innovative entrepreneurs.

The EUR 91m loan (PLN 390m) to the Polish Finance Ministry will be used to modernise and extend the university hospitals in Gdansk and Lublin. This financing operation is part of the EIB’s support for the healthcare and education sectors in Poland.

We are moving full steam ahead with new projects in Poland”, said EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák. “University hospitals play a key role in bridging gaps between higher education and healthcare needs. Our partnership with the Ministry of Finance is well-oiled and this transaction is yet another step in our long-standing and fruitful cooperation.”

2018 results

Infrastructure and innovation were among the drivers of EIB Group activity in Poland in 2018. EIB Group financing, comprising loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and equity investments and guarantees from the European Investment Fund (EIF), amounted to EUR 4.8bn, putting Poland in fifth place among EU countries, after Spain, Italy, France and Germany. In particular, EIB Group financing as percentage of GDP was 0.97% in Poland, compared to the EU average of 0.35%, underlining the valuable impact of the EU bank’s activity in the country.

2018 was another positive year for Poland and the EIB”, commented Vazil Hudák. “The EU bank maintained its strong support for the country’s numerous infrastructure modernisation projects, while stepping up its financing for education, research, innovation and small and medium-sized companies. This record year for EIF investments in Poland reflects the soaring demand from Poland’s innovative entrepreneurs and our readiness to support their development plans.” Mr Hudák added: “Much of this activity was made possible by support from the European Fund for Strategic Investments and our strong links with local financial partners, ranging from Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) to the 18 commercial banks and leasing companies that we work with. We look forward to doing more of the same in 2019.”

EIB lending:

European Investment Bank (EIB) lending amounted to EUR 3.74bn and covered a wide range of sectors, from roads and railway to energy distribution, green transport, urban revitalisation, healthcare and education. The EIB signed its first direct loans with Polish universities (Warsaw and Poznań medical universities) and invested in a social and affordable housing scheme in Poznań.

Several corporates benefited from a direct EIB lending. The EIB supported modernisation and innovation plans in the chemical sector, with a loan of EUR 145m to Grupa Azoty and of EUR 45m to PCC Rokita, the latter backed by EFSI guarantee. In the energy sector, a second EFSI hybrid bond operation (the first denominated in PLN) amounting to EUR 175m was signed with Tauron. The Bank financed its first in Poland Nearly Zero Energy Building project (Posejdon in Szczecin), after similar projects were financed in other EU countries, like Germany and Scandinavia, enhancing greener urban developments and fostering energy efficiency. 

The EU bank continued to support SMEs and mid-caps via the traditional funding lines, with six new transactions signed with local banks and leasing entities for a total amount of EUR 725m.  Jointly with the EIF, the Bank concluded two mezzanine synthetic securitisation transactions (EUR 148m) with EFSI backing for the benefit of SMEs and mid-caps.    

EIF financing:  

The European Investment Fund (EIF) had a record year in Poland, with EUR 1.05bn invested in the form of equity and portfolio guarantees for small and medium-sized companies. Two EFSI-backed operations are worth mentioning for their innovative scope and components:

  • Alior Bank was granted a PLN 1.44bn guarantee (EUR 335.3m) on the senior and mezzanine tranches of a PLN 1.5bn (EUR 349m) SME portfolio; this was the first synthetic SME securitisation in Poland in which the EIB and EIF participated jointly;
  • the EIF and BGK signed a counter-guarantee agreement for Polish SMEs, supported by the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility under the EU's Creative Europe programme, aimed at generating PLN 525m (around EUR 125m) in new financing for almost 3 000 SMEs in Poland’s cultural and creative sectors.

European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI):

Poland also ranks fifth among EU countries in terms of loans received under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the financial pillar of the “Juncker Plan”. This plan, launched by the European Commission and the EIB in 2015, helps attract public and private investments into projects by taking on a higher risk than is usual for EIB lending activity. As of 31 December 2018, there were 61 approved EFSI transactions in Poland amounting to EUR 3.7bn, which are expected to mobilise EUR 16.2bn of total investments.