EIB Group Invests Record Amount of EUR 891 mln in Hungary in 2021

Analysis

EIB vice president Teresa Czerwinska, in charge of operations in Hungary.

The European Investment Bank Group, made up of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), says it increased its investments in Hungary in 2021 and provided a record EUR 891 million to the local economy.

Breaking down the contributions, the EIB increased the volume of its operations in Hungary for the fifth consecutive year in lending of EUR 880 mln. The EIF, meanwhile, invested EUR 11 mln in the local economy: EUR 5 mln in equity and EUR 6 mln in guarantees to local private and public banks. Since 2017, the EIF has invested EUR 306.5 mln in equity (EUR 120.5 mln), guarantees (EUR 185.4 mln) and inclusive finance (EUR 600,000).

The EIB Group says its activities in Hungary channeled EUR 701 mln into the faster recovery of the Hungarian economy and fueled the public sector’s response to COVID-19.

“The EIB Group has again proven that we are a reliable partner for Hungary even in the most difficult of times,” says EIB vice president Teresa Czerwinska, who is in charge of operations in Hungary.

“Our record-high results for 2021 are proof of our commitment to the social and economic development of Hungary. They also testify to our determination to ensure this development is long-term, sustainable, green and inclusive,” she explains.

Proud Contribution

“I am particularly proud of our contribution to COVID-19 recovery in the country. We have provided EUR 701 mln to sustain Hungarian businesses and the healthcare system during these difficult times. I would like to thank our partners in the government and in the public and private sectors for the opportunity to help make Hungary even stronger,” Czerwinska adds.

As reported in the Jan. 28 issue of the Budapest Business Journal, in 2021, the EIB agreed to provide EUR 300 mln to the government to co-finance the national Home Renovation Program set up to improve the energy efficiency of houses. The operation supported a reduction of energy demand and improved the reliability and security of supply in the country. The financing will help reduce greenhouse gases and alleviate air pollution in parallel. (See “EUB’s 1st Green Loan for Hungary Will Unlock EUR 300 mln for Improved Home Energy Efficiency” on budapestbusinessjournal.com)

The EIB also provided EUR 150 mln to student loan company Diákhitel to ensure Hungarian students have easier access to student loans; the loan also supports post-secondary vocational education, training, and adult learning programs and, in turn, the development of a modern, competent and competitive workforce for the Hungarian economy. This is the sixth such operation in support of Diákhitel, to which the EIB has provided EUR 687 mln in total over the past few years.

As part of the EIB’s support for Hungary in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIB says it supported the country’s public sector with EUR 146 mln to finance the acquisition of vital equipment and materials.

The EIB also signed a EUR 50 mln deal with UniCredit Bank to unlock new sources of financing for Hungarian SMEs struggling with the effects of the pandemic. The bank has assisted the private sector in the modernization and digitalization of the production facilities, including a EUR 30 mln loan to the Lasselberger Ceramics company.

Decade of Investment

Over the past 10 years, the EIB has invested some EUR 10.4 billion in Hungary, the majority (EUR 2.31 bln) in credit lines for local SMEs and mid-caps. Between 2011 and 2021, the EIB invested EUR 1.76 bln in the country’s transport sector and a further EUR 1.22 bln in national healthcare.

Beyond that, it has invested an additional EUR 1.11 bln in education, EUR 976.7 mln in the services sector, EUR 800 mln in agriculture, EUR 776 mln in the energy sector, EUR 605 mln in industry, and EUR 571 mln in water and wastewater management. Waste management, telecoms, composite infrastructure, and urban development have received a combined total of more than EUR 1.05 bln in long-term funding from the EIB.

Elsewhere, EIB Advisory Services has continued to provide advice and capacity-building support to the government and the public and private sectors through several schemes. In 2021, the service took on seven new assignments in the country, completed six, and reported 29 active projects, helping in areas such as climate and environment, energy efficiency, infrastructure, sustainable urban development, and agriculture.

Since 2006, the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) Advisory Service alone has supported the preparation of investment projects worth more than EUR 14.4 bln. JASPERS was set up with the European Commission to help cities and regions absorb EU funds.

In a separate project, the Advisory Hub also supported Hungary’s government in developing its Circular Economy Package.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of April 8, 2022.

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