The EIB is committed to implement its part of the EU recovery package, as approved by the ECOFIN Council of 2nd December 2008.
This represents a fast track answer by the EIB to the impact of the financial crisis on the real economy of Member States, with increased lending to priority and/or particularly vulnerable sectors and regions, additional support for SMEs and a comprehensive package for energy and climate change.
The solid and rapid response of EIB to the economic crisis situation in Europe can already be observed in the accelerated signatures of loan contracts and disbursements:
- from October 2008 to end March 2009, signatures amounted to EUR 38.7bn in the EU-27, an increase of 58% as compared with EUR 24.5bn signatures during the same period the previous year;
- for the same period from October 2008 to end March 2009, disbursements amounted to EUR 29bn in the EU-27, an increase of 29% as compared with EUR 22.5bn disbursements the previous year.
It is anticipated that an additional EIB financing of EUR 20bn, could generate additional global investment value up to EUR 80bn in 2009‑2010. This leverage between EIB financing and the value of global investments varies between 2 and 10 as it is dependant on the type of instrument and the average expected percentage of EIB financing by project.
The measures taken entail an overall increased access to the capital markets by the Bank during a period in which it is expected that these will already be strongly solicited by Member States to fund their policy actions. Current difficulties on the capital markets make it difficult to forecast conditions or pace under which the borrowing program of EIB will develop in the short to medium term, a fortiori with the envisaged increase of the lending activity. Indeed, the current operational pipeline suggests that demand may exceed the initial objective of EUR 60bn in 2009.
This context of substantially increased lending and funding and the willingness of the EIB to respond favourably to additional demand, also by granting guarantees, increase the level of care that EIB must apply to the management of its liquidity, i.e. by respecting the rule that a minimum of 25% of annual forecasted disbursements should be kept as a liquidity reserve.
Access by EIB to central bank liquidity via the ECB constitutes a natural complement to the financing initiatives taken and will facilitate it for the EIB to accommodate the additional demand for its lending programme currently foreseen. At present, this additional demand is estimated to be EUR 10bn in 2009. With the new access to central bank liquidity it is envisaged that EIB loan signatures would amount to EUR 70bn this year.