25 Jan 2010

Further increase in focus sector lending

In 2010, NIB will further increase the share of new loans in its focus sectors: the environment, energy, transport, logistics and communications, and innovation. NIB will also be increasingly proactive in these sectors.

The Bank will support the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region by providing financing for priority investments, particularly in the environment, energy and transport.

NIB is seeking opportunities for lending under the Baltic Sea Environment, BASE, facility to support the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.

The Bank will also continue to support efforts in further development of the energy production from the renewable sources both in the member countries and outside the membership area. NIB’s focus will remain on projects related to climate change and aimed at improving energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In the transport and logistics sector, NIB will take an active part in the new Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics, established late last year. Lending for investments in road and railroad infrastructure will continue to be an important field of activity for the Bank.

In the innovation sector the Bank mainly participates through the financing of industrial research & development projects in the focus sectors, including eco-efficient technology development.

New structure of NIB Lending

From the beginning of 2010, NIB’s lending activities are divided into Member Area lending and Non-Member Area lending. Senior Director Lars Selenius heads the Member Area operations, which include the Nordic and Baltic countries. The Head of Non-Member Area, Senior Director Søren Kjær Mortensen is in charge of lending operations in Africa, South America, Europe and Asia.

Mr Selenius has previously headed the lending activities in Finland as well as those in Sweden and the Baltic countries.

When discussing the outlook for 2010, Mr Selenius says that while in the past few years environment and energy have accounted for a portion of new loans, a large number of interesting projects are being prepared in the fields of infrastructure and R&D.

Lending to the Baltic countries is likely to continue to grow at a somewhat more rapid pace than it will to the Nordic countries.

Lars Selenius

“There is a growing demand for financing from the public and semi-public sector, whereas financing for new investments in industry are presently somewhat lower. However, in the present situation, the long maturities offered by NIB are particularly highly valued.”

Lars Selenius

Senior Director, Head of Member Country Lending at NIB

Mr Mortensen has been working with both member country lending as well as with NIB’s operations in Asia. He was stationed in Singapore for eight years, heading up NIB’s lending in Asia. In his new – broader – area of responsibility, the non-member lending, NIB focuses on the countries around the Baltic Sea, as well as Brazil, China, India and Ukraine.

“Apart from the “plain vanilla” loans, we will also continue to provide funds to public-private partnership (PPP) investments. Moreover, the A/B loan structures have been well established as one of our products,” says Mr Mortensen.

NIB will also continue its special task as one of two lead banks in the framework of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP). The NDEP Fund, in conjunction with long term financing from IFIs such as NIB, the EBRD and the EIB, currently targets environmental projects in Northwest Russia.

A new similar facility, the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership has recently been established, with an initial focus on Ukraine.

Søren Kjær Mortensen

“Together with the Member Area operations, we will be focusing on the financing of environmental projects in the countries around the Baltic Sea as part of the individual countries’ agendas for the Baltic Sea Action Plan.”

Søren Kjær Mortensen

Senior Director, Head of Non-Member Country Lending at NIB

NIB’s lending activities were reorganised as of 1 January 2010 with the aim of increasing the Bank’s emphasis on its focus sectors. The adjustment will also simplify administrative processes.