The board of governors of the currently Moscow-based International Investment Bank (IIB) took a unanimous decision at a meeting on Tuesday to relocate the lenderʼs headquarters to Budapest, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga said in a statement on Wednesday, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.
The board of governors mandated the bankʼs chairman to sign an agreement on the relocation, Varga said. The Budapest headquarters is expected to open in the second half of 2019, but the entire relocation from Moscow will take 2-3 years, he added.
Varga said the relocation of the headquarters to Budapest could have a marked positive effect on IIBʼs operations and improve the bankʼs integration with the economic system of the European Union. The move also expands the opportunities for cooperation with other financial institutions, he added.
The minister noted that Fitch Ratings raised IIBʼs rating from "BBB" to "BBB+" on November 22. The ratings agency said the planned move of IIBʼs headquarters to Budapest is expected to further improve the credit assessment of the bank, he added.
Founded in 1970, IIB is a multilateral institution for development that focuses on supporting SMEs and socially significant infrastructure projects, noted MTI. The bankʼs members are Bulgaria, Hungary, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Cuba, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.