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EIB lending in Hungary reaches record level in 2008

The European Investment Bank (EIB) granted loans worth a record-high €1.525 billion in Hungary during 2008, EIB Vice President Marta Gajecka announced in Brussels.

EIB has financed investments worth €9.6 billion in Hungary since 1990. The bank will increase its lending in all EU member states due to the financial crisis, Gajecka and EIB chairman Philippe Maystadt said.

EIB lent €8.1 billion for SMEs in 2008, 42% more than a year before. Hungarian SMEs have received €116.5 million. The bank has already signed for €775 million in loans for European small and medium-sized enterprises for 2009, including €352 million for Hungarian businesses.

Gajecka, also responsible for financing operations in the region, told the press that she sees no danger that countries will be unable to utilize the total amount of the loans granted. The vice president added that the bank still insists on strict guarantees for usage and returns.

EIB will issue bonds in forints to help finance itself. The bank has issued €1.96 billion worth of bonds on the forint market since 1998.

EIB has contributed €300 million to Hungary's operative programs, €120 million to the country's investments in transport and health care and offered a loan of €275 million for research and innovation programs. The bank has also granted €200 million for the construction of the M6 motorway and €194 million for the protection of the environment.

EIB has provided its greatest percentage of its loan support in Hungary, about 36%, for developments in transport and infrastructure. EIB granted 10% of its loans in Hungary for environmental protection projects, 12% for industry and services, 11% for energy and telecommunications and 23% for banks. (MTI – Econews)