27 May 2019

Nordic and Baltic ministers approve NIB's 2018 results and changes to Statutes

At its annual meeting on 24 May 2019, the Nordic Investment Bank’s Board of Governors approved the Bank’s annual accounts for 2018, and the payment of EUR 40 million as dividends to the member countries. The Board, which consists of ministers of finance, industry, business and economic affairs in NIB’s Nordic and Baltic owner countries also approved amendments to NIB’s Statutes, subject to the required national procedures.

Strong demand for long-term loans in NIB's member countries continued in 2018, with NIB disbursing a total of EUR 4,047 million in loans: the highest volume in its history. The Bank’s lending activity benefited from a favourable investment climate in the member countries. The demand was particularly strong for financing projects that improve productivity. NIB also financed a substantial number of projects contributing to environmental benefits. The Board decided that of the EUR 173 million recorded as profit for the year, EUR 40 million will be paid out as dividends to the member countries.

“I see the NIB in a good position to meet the challenges of the future. NIB has been able to retain its relevance as a long-term lender in the member countries. The Bank’s growth during the last three years has surpassed the average GDP growth, however, it varied significantly within the Nordic-Baltic region,” says Jānis Reirs, Latvia’s Minister of Finance and Chair of the Bank’s Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors also approved amendments to the Statutes of NIB, which will be submitted to undergo the required national procedures.

The intent of the amendments is to modernise NIB’s Statutes and to ensure continued adherence with sound banking principles. The proposed changes consist of:

  • Replacing the current statutory gearing limit with a risk-based comprehensive framework for capital and liquidity management in accordance with sound banking principles, and introducing minimum requirements for capital, liquidity and leverage.
  • Discontinuing the special loan facilities for Project Investment Loans (PIL) and Environmental Investment Loans (MIL). The outstanding amounts under the PIL and MIL facilities, as well as new lending of this type, would become part of NIB’s ordinary lending.
  • Improving institutional governance, clarifying the role of the Control Committee and the external auditors and strengthening the role of the Chairmanship of the Bank’s Control Committee.
  • With the unanimous pre-approval of the Board of Directors allowing for equity participations as a new form of financing for the Bank in addition to loans and guarantees.

For details, please read more about the proposed changes here.

In addition, more comprehensive provisions regarding capital and liquidity management would be included in a new document “Principles for Capital and Liquidity Management” approved by the Board of Governors. The Principles would provide a tool for NIB’s owners through the Board of Governors, to fine tune the capital and liquidity management framework and limits introduced in the Statutes.

“The changes to the NIB Statutes represent implementation of improved management framework. The modernisation of the Statutes will further strengthen NIB to be more relevant in its activities, and thereby add more value to all stakeholders, be more effective in achieving the NIB mandate and would allow more efficient use of capital while supporting the highest possible AAA credit rating of the Bank,” says Jānis Reirs, Latvia’s Minister of Finance and Chair of the Bank’s Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors appointed Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance of Iceland and the Governor for Iceland, as its Chair for the period 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2020.

NIB is an international financial institution owned by eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. The Bank finances private and public projects in and outside the member countries. NIB has the highest possible credit rating, AAA/Aaa, with the leading rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

For further information, please contact
Mr Henrik Normann, President & CEO, at +358 10 618 001, info@nib.int

Mr Jukka Ahonen, Senior Director, Head of Communications, at +358 10 618 0295, jukka.ahonen@nib.int