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  • EIB signed €254 million in new lending and EIF guarantee commitments reached €39 million
  • In total, some 706 small businesses benefited from EIB Group operations supporting over 23 000 jobs in Slovakia in 2023

The European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group), comprising the European Investment Bank (EIB) and its subsidiary, the European Investment Fund (EIF), supported Slovakia’s economy with €293 million in new loans and guarantee commitments in 2023.

The EIB signed new loans amounting to €254 million and the EIF committed around €39 million in four guarantee operations, benefiting a total of 706 businesses and supporting over 23 000 jobs.

“Our dedication to fostering sustainable urban development, promoting renewable energy and providing financing for small businesses and mid-caps significantly contributes to accelerating Slovakia’s transition to a greener and more prosperous future. We have committed not only financing but also advisory and technical support to ensure that the response to the needs and challenges is just and sustainable. As we look ahead, the EIB Group’s commitment remains steadfast to driving green investments in key areas such as the railway sector, infrastructure development, energy, and supporting the financing needs of small businesses and mid-caps,” said EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris.

In 2023, the EIB’s engagement in the country included financing for energy, urban development, services and support for small businesses and mid-caps. Approximately 85% of the total financing allocated across these sectors targeted less developed regions, underlining the EU bank’s commitment to economic and social cohesion.

The EIB provided a €19.5 million framework loan to the city of Banská Bystrica aimed at supporting the city’s objective to advance sustainable urban development, complementing EU funds. The financing is directed towards the modernisation of infrastructure and services, focusing on investments in public spaces, green areas, active mobility (cycling), public lighting and energy efficiency measures. 

For three regional operations in the renewable energy generation space undertaken by privately-owned corporates and involving installations of solar panels on warehouse rooftops, some €44.5 million was allocated to Slovakia. These projects align with the EIB’s commitment to support REPowerEU – the EU plan designed to enhance energy supply security and eliminate the European Union’s dependence on fossil fuel imports.

Continued support for businesses

In 2023, the EIB provided credit lines to three banking groups operating in Slovakia. These institutions on-lend EIB funds to small businesses and municipalities at more favourable terms to support local infrastructure, climate action, energy, development and innovation. The EIB signed a €50 million loan agreement with Všeobecná úverová banka (VÚB) aimed at generating additional lending to small businesses, mid-caps, and public entities with smaller projects. It also signed a €200 million loan facility with SG Equipment Finance Czech Republic (SGEF CZ), the leasing subsidiary of Société Générale, of which €40 million will be available to Slovak businesses for new investments. The Bank committed €100 million to Slovenská sporiteľňa (SLSP), the largest bank in Slovakia, to offer new financing for small businesses and mid-caps. Most of the financing provided to the financial intermediaries operating in Slovakia is expected to benefit EU cohesion areas, a top priority for the EIB together with the fight against climate change.           

Over the past five years, the EIB Group has invested a total of €1.25 billion in Slovakia, with an average annual commitment of €250 million. EIB operations in Slovakia benefited some 480 small businesses and mid-caps, supporting almost 17 000 jobs in the country in 2023.

The EIF is part of the EIB Group, providing risk financing solutions to financial intermediaries to support small businesses and mid-caps and foster innovation in Europe. It designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. The EIF’s efforts further key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

Over the past five years, the EIF has provided €401 million in financing in Slovakia, while these investments are expected to leverage approximately €1.35 billion in investment. In 2023, the EIF committed €39 million in support of Slovak businesses, through which approximately €404 million of capital will be mobilised. Some 226 businesses benefited from EIF operations in Slovakia in 2023 that supported about 6 300 jobs, bringing the total number of jobs sustained by the EIB Group to 23 291.

EIB Advisory in Slovakia

EIB Advisory offers a large range of advisory services that embrace all stages of the project cycle and beyond to help identify and successfully undertake sustainable investment projects by providing technical and financial advice to its partners. EIB Advisory is providing services in Slovakia mainly through the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS)European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) and other initiatives, offering tailored technical and financial advisory support. In 2023, EIB Advisory continued to provide valuable advisory and capacity-building support in Slovakia.

JASPERS alone has attracted over €18 billion in investments since 2006. In total, JASPERS completed 131 assignments primarily in the transport sector – rail, roads and motorways, sustainable urban mobility, inland waterways, including support for strategic planning at national, regional and urban level. JASPERS engaged in projects related to transport, water, energy, energy efficiency, R&I, and the environment, participating in multi-sectoral programmes and providing support for the Just Transition Fund (JTF). In the transport sector JASPERS continued its advisory support for the preparation of the strategically important D3 motorway project and other national road corridors and provided key expertise in a countrywide technical assistance activity on road safety. JASPERS also provided support for the SK feasibility study for the development of the V4 high-speed railway network and the improvement of border crossing points in the macro-functional area between south-eastern Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary. In 2023 it contributed to the JTF, providing advice on the identification, preparation and appraisal of investments. In this context, a new assignment was launched, focusing on geothermal energy for the district heating system in Košice. The primary focus is on assisting with project preparation.

Last year, EIB Advisory launched advisory assignments with the City of Bratislava and the Region of Košice. The services provided to the City of Bratislava aim to facilitate the organisational development of the Bratislava Housing Organisation. This involves defining an efficient institutional, organisational and financing model, as well as assisting in the identification of public rental housing investment projects for subsequent implementation. The collaboration with the Region of Košice is dedicated to identifying a water investment programme in small municipalities within the region.

EIB Investment Survey

In addition to the annual results, the EIB also publishes today the results of its annual investment survey, which polls more than 13 000 companies globally about the investment climate, focusing on employment, digital transformation and climate issues. The data indicate a significant contrast with the EU average in how Slovakian businesses perceive the transition to stricter climate standards and regulations, with only 13% viewing it as an opportunity compared to 29% across the European Union. 46% of Slovak firms view the transition as a risk, highlighting the need for tailored strategies to address region-specific concerns.

Background information

The EIB has been working in Slovakia since 1992, channelling more than €10 billion in financing for projects that support the country’s economy. The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute to EU policy objectives. EIB projects bolster competitiveness, drive innovation, promote sustainable development, enhance social and territorial cohesion, and support a just and swift transition to climate neutrality.

The EIB Group, which also includes the European Investment Fund (EIF), signed a total of €88 billion in new financing for over 900 projects in 2023. These commitments are expected to mobilise around €320 billion in investment, supporting 400 000 companies and 5.4 million jobs.

All projects financed by the EIB Group are in line with the Paris Agreement. The EIB Group does not fund investments in fossil fuels. It is on track to deliver on its commitment to support €1 trillion in climate and environmental sustainability investment in the decade to 2030 as pledged in its Climate Bank Roadmap. Over half of the EIB Group’s annual financing supports projects that directly contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to a healthier environment.

Around half of EIB financing within the European Union goes to cohesion regions, where per capita income is lower. This underscores the Bank’s commitment to fostering inclusive growth and the convergence of living standards.