45 years of operations

NIB started operations in 1976. On 1 June 2021, the Bank celebrates its 45th anniversary.

NIB was established through a treaty between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to overcome investment barriers, promote economic growth and cooperation in major investment projects. Today, NIB’s mission is to finance projects that improve the productivity and benefit the environment of the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Read about main developments over the years and the outlook for the future in the article.

 
 
 

More than 2,200 projects financed

Over EUR 63 billion paid out in loans

5.4 billion issued in environmental bonds

AAA/Aaa rating since 1982

 

Since 1976, the Bank has been investing in the construction of schools, hospitals, railways, airports and other public infrastructure, financing transport and energy projects, supporting R&D programmes as well as contributing to the expansions of both large corporates and small businesses.

During its 45 years of operations, NIB has paid out more EUR 63 billion in loans to over 2,200 projects investment projects around the world.

 

To date, the Bank has financed projects for over EUR 18.1 billion in Sweden, EUR 13.4 billion in Finland, EUR 10.7 billion in Norway, EUR 6.5 billion in Denmark, EUR 2.3 billion in Iceland, EUR 1.5 billion in Estonia, EUR 1.4 billion in Lituania, and EUR 1.2 billion in Latvia.

NIB also finances projects that involve member country interests outside of the Nordic-Baltic region. Until now, the Bank has financed projects for over EUR 8 billion outside of the member country area.

Total investments 1976-ytd 2021

Geographical distribution, EUR bn
Column 1
Sweden18.1
Finland13.4
Norway10.7
Denmark6.5
Iceland2.3
Estonia1.5
Lithuania1.4
Latvia1.2
Non-member countries8.3
 

NIB Environmental Bond issuance 2011-ytd 2021

in EUR m, total EUR 5.4 bn
20112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Environmental Bond91.859.2162.3437.4607.2762.9920.2500500500500
Nordic-Baltic Blue Bond00000000192.7142.80

NIB is an established supranational issuer of bonds in several currencies, attracting a global investor base throughout the years. In 2011, the Bank has introduced NIB's Environmental Bond (NEB) Framework which allows investors to provide funds for selected environmental projects financed by NIB.

To date, the Bank’s total issuance under the NEB Framework amounts to EUR 5,377 million (EUR 5,042 million in Environmental Bonds & EUR 335 million in Blue Bonds). Thus far, a total of 117 sustainable projects have been funded with NEB proceeds.

NIB bonds enjoy the highest possible credit rating — the triple-A credit rating has been assigned by Standard & Poor's and Moody's uninterruptedly since NIB was first rated in the early 1980s.

 

How it started

The idea to create a Nordic investment bank surfaced in the 1950s within the framework of establishing a Nordic customs union. However, the customs union never materialised, scuppering the plans for the bank.

A second attempt was made in the late 1960s when the governments aimed to form a Nordic Economic Union (Nordek). In March 1970, however, the project collapsed as the Finnish government announced its withdrawal. The reason was its relations with the Soviet Union, although this was never explicitly stated.

The third attempt to launch the bank was made in late 1974 and early 1975, and proved successful.

Read how NIB came to be in an article by Bengt Dennis, Member of NIB's Board of Directors in 1976.

 
 
NIB's management team in late 70s

NIB's management team in the late 1970s.

1976 - NIB starts operations

2005 - Baltic countries join the Bank

2006 - NIB renews strategy to sharpen the focus on the sustainable growth

2020 - NIB owners update the Bank's Statutes to strengthen NIB's operations

For a more detailed overview of the Bank's history, see the timeline below.
 

History

Establishing NIB in 1975

Signing the agreement for the establishment of NIB on 4 December 1975, from the left: Minister of Justice Kristian Gestrin, Finland; Minister of Finance Kjell-Olof Feldt, Sweden; Foreign Minister Ivar Nørgaard, Denmark; Church and Education Minister Bjartmar Gjerde, Norway; and Iceland’s Ambassador to Denmark, Sigurður Bjarnason.

1976

Operations begin in August, after Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden decided in 1975 to set up the Nordic Investment Bank to promote economic growth and cooperation between the Nordic countries. Bert Lindström (Sweden) becomes the first president of NIB. NIB signs its first loan agreement.

1977

NIB is introduced on the international capital market with a eurodollar loan of USD 40 million.

1981

NIB moves into its new office at Unioninkatu 30, Helsinki.

1982

NIB is awarded the top credit rating, AAA/Aaa, for its long-term bonds.

 

1983

NIB agrees on its first project investment loan outside the membership area.

1984

Authorised capital doubles to SDR 800 million, loan authorisation to SDR 2,000 million. NIB employs 51 persons.

1986

Jannik Lindbæk (Norway) becomes NIB’s president.

1989

The Nordic Development Fund is established. NIB starts focusing on environmental projects.

1990

The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, NEFCO, is established a special unit within NIB (separates from NIB in 1993).

NIB's Board in 1977

NIB's Board meeting in 1977.

 

 

NIB office building on Fabianinkatu 34

NIB's office building on Fabianinkatu in Helsinki

 

1992

NIB participates in the Baltic Investment Programme, set up by the Nordic countries with the aim of helping to build up the private sector in the Baltic countries.

1993

NIB moves into the office building at Fabianinkatu 34, Helsinki (purchases the property in 1996).

1994

Project investment loans outside the member countries are paid to the private sector for the first time. Jón Sigurðsson (Iceland) becomes NIB’s president.

1997

New loan facility established for environmental investment loans to projects on the areas adjacent to the member countries. 

 

1999

A new Agreement on NIB and a headquarters agreement acknowledge the Bank’s multilateral status. NIB’s authorised capital is raised to EUR 4,000 million.

2001

NIB joins the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP).


2004

NIB expands loan facilities for projects outside the member countries and for environmental projects.

2005

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania become members of NIB. Johnny Åkerholm (Finland) becomes NIB’s president. The authorised capital is increased to EUR 4,142 million.

Baltic countries

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania

 

 

Renewable energyThe share of renewable energy projects in NIB's lending becomes more significant with the new focus on sustainable growth in the member countries.

2006

NIB renews its strategy and introduces the mandate to sharpen the focus on the sustainable growth of the member countries.

2008

NIB allocates EUR 1,500 million for lending facilities earmarked for climate change mitigation and the improvement of the Baltic Sea environment.

2011

NIB issues its first green bond under the new Environmental Bond framework. NIB’s authorised capital is increased to EUR 6,142 million.

2012

Henrik Normann (Denmark) becomes NIB’s president.

 

 

2014

The Board of Directors conducts a comprehensive review of NIB’s strategy. The Bank issues its inaugural benchmark environmental bond.

2015

NIB establishes an Arctic lending facility.

2016

A special lending facility is allocated to invest in green bonds issued by companies and municipalities in the member countries.

2018

NIB renews its mandate rating framework with a focus on improving productivity and the environment in the member countries.

2020

NIB updates its Statutes to strengthen the Bank’s operations and ensure continued adherence to sound banking principles.

2021

André Küüsvek (Estonia) becomes NIB's president.

NIB logo building

NIB logo building from the first NIB Day arranged for the Bank's staff members in 2014.

 
 
 

Member countries, governing bodies and capital

Constituent documents 

NIB is governed by its constituent documents, namely the Agreement between its member countries and the Statutes, as well as the Host Country Agreement concluded between NIB and the government of Finland. These establish that NIB is the member countries' common international financial institution, which has the same status as other legal persons conducting similar operations within and outside the member countries.

Furthermore, the constituent documents stipulate that NIB has the status of an international legal person with full legal capacity, define the immunities and privileges of the Bank and its personnel, and set out the structure for the governance of the Bank.

Agreement on NIB, Amending Agreement, Statutes, and Host Country Agreement

 

Authorised capital

NIB's authorised capital amounts to approximately EUR 8,369 million. NIB’s member countries have subscribed the authorised capital according to a distribution key based on the eight member countries' gross national income.

The authorised capital consists of paid-in capital and callable capital. About 10.10% of the subscribed authorised capital stock is paid in. The remainder of the authorised capital consists of callable capital, which is subject to call if the Board of Directors deems it necessary. In addition to the paid-in and callable capital, the Bank has various reserves.

 

Member country
Rating*
Authorised capital
Country's share
Denmark Aaa/AAA 1,763,074,493.79€ 21.1%
Estonia A1/AA- 76,651,259.81€ 0.9%
Finland Aa1/AA+ 1,482,690,785.19€ 17.7%
Iceland A2/A 79,132,913.42€ 0.9%
Latvia A3/A+ 111,830,807.21€ 1.3%
Lithuania A2/A+ 163,231,714.80€ 2.0%
Norway Aaa/AAA 1,799,704,941.30€ 21.5%
Sweden Aaa/AAA 2,892,527,558.59€ 34.6%
Total   8,368,844,474.11€ 100.0%

* Credit ratings by Moody's and Standard & Poor's as of 15 February 2021

 
 

Structure and management

Each member country designates a governor for the Bank's Board of Governors, which is the supreme decision-making body. The Control Committee is the Bank's supervisory body. The Board of Directors makes policy decisions concerning the operations and approves the financial transactions proposed by NIB's President. NIB's President is responsible for the conduct of the current operations of the Bank.

The President is assisted in his or her work by the Executive Committee, the Asset and Liability Committee, the Mandate, Credit and Compliance Committee, the Treasury Committee, and the Business and Technology Committee.

Structure
 

Board of Governors

Each member country is represented on NIB's Board of Governors by a government minister.

Read more
 

Control Committee

The Control Committee ensures that NIB's operations are conducted in accordance with the Statutes.

Read more
 

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is composed of eight directors and eight alternates appointed by each member country.

Read more
 
 

President

André Küüsvek (Estonia) was appointed NIB's President and Chief Executive Officer on 1 April 2021.

Read more
 

Organisation

Click below to see the structure of NIB's organisation.

Read more
 

 

 
 

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