European Investment Bank Group opens regional representation office for the Baltics in Vilnius, Lithuania
Goal is to support businesses and strengthen relations with the public and private sectors, as well as to enhance EIB Group’s outreach in the three Baltic States
Marco Francini appointed as head of office
The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group has today officially inaugurated its regional representative office for the Baltic Region in Vilnius, Lithuania. At the inauguration ceremony in the presence of the Lithuanian Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka, the EIB’s President Hoyer and Vice-President Stubb unveiled of a commemorative plaque, officially kicking off the permanent representation in the region. The EIB Group representation to the Baltic States will be headed by Marco Francini.
EIB President Werner Hoyer remarked: “The Baltic States may be small in terms of population, but their importance for European unity is big. Moreover, their standing and weight in terms of business, technology and innovation is growing stronger than ever. We are delighted to open a regional representation in Vilnius, a clear signal of the EIB Group’s intention and willingness to support Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the energy transition, as well as to sustain their many innovative businesses, all to the benefit of the more than 6 million people who inhabit the region.”
Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania Vilius Šapoka added: “This is a very significant step for all the Baltic states towards closer cooperation with the EIB. I am delighted that Lithuania will have more financing alternatives in strategic areas that will also contribute to the economic growth of the country. Lithuania’s cooperation with the EIB Group is presented as good practice within the European Union and beyond, so we hope that through enhanced cooperation we will jointly develop innovative financial instruments in our country. At the same time, we will definitely implement many ambitious projects in green finance, FinTech and other areas".
The inauguration of the regional EIB Group office in Vilnius is part of the EIB’s policy of enhancing its presence in all EU Member States. A presence on the ground will ensure market proximity, an increased operational delivery capability for the EIB and closer institutional ties with the national authorities. It will improve project identification and screening, facilitate appraisal of new operations and help to develop financing opportunities with the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The EIB Group, consisting of the EIB and the EIF, has issued a guarantee to Luminor AS to support new lending to companies based in all three Baltic States. The facility is meant to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Baltic economies. Through a synthetic securitisation transaction – the first of its kind in the Baltics – between Luminor and the EIB Group (with support from the Investment Plan for Europe), Luminor will provide additional lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Mid-Caps in these difficult economic conditions. The guarantee structure can support at least €660 million of additional loans and leases to SMEs and Mid-Caps in all three Baltic countries.
Together with the Latvian Ministry of Economy, in mid-March Altum launched a EUR 200m Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Programme, a support mechanism for Latvian businesses impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. To expand the capabilities of this programme to safeguard Latvian businesses and jobs, in July the European Investment Bank lent ALTUM €80 million in Covid-related financing. The Government of the Republic of Latvia provided additional €50 million. So far, the European financing has helped ALTUM to support 475 Latvian companies, thus making sure that more than 1580 people’s jobs were safeguarded.
The EIB has signed a €110 million loan agreement with Lithuanian energy company AB Ignitis Grupė. The financing is intended to be used to install smart meters and implement IT solutions for data collection and management with the energy distribution operator AB “Energijos skirstymo operatorius” (ESO). The replacement of existing electromechanical meters included in this operation corresponds to almost 66% of all the installed meters currently installed in Lithuania.