- AS Citadele banka and the EIB Group have signed an agreement that will help expand lending to local businesses in the Baltic States.
- At least 20% will go to Climate Action projects, helping to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
- AS Citadele banka will also receive advisory support under the EIB’s Green Gateway facility.
The EIB Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has issued a guarantee to AS Citadele banka to support new lending to companies based in all three Baltic States. The Group’s first agreement with AS Citadele banka, the deal will provide capital relief for the bank and enable it to grant at least €460 million in additional loans and leases to businesses in the Baltics over the next three years. Against the uncertainty of the current economic climate and geopolitical situation, the agreement is especially welcome and affirms EIB Group’s status as a countercyclical investor.
With 20% of the lending geared towards green projects, the deal will help propel the green transition of local economies and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. In parallel, AS Citadele banka will receive advisory support under the Green Gateway facility through the European Investment Advisory Hub in the form of training, development of tools and manuals and on-the-job-support to enhance its capacity to identify, assess and report on green projects.
AS Citadele banka CEO Johan Akerblom explained, “We see that Baltic business clients are willing to continue their development plans, and this deal will support our capacity to provide the required financing to these customers in the upcoming years, with a particular focus on supporting the green transition.”
“We at the EIB are delighted to sign this agreement with AS Citadele banka that will help expand lending to local businesses in the Baltic States,” said EIB-Vice-President Thomas Östros. “Small businesses and mid-caps are a key part of the economy, and we are deeply committed to improving their access to finance and supporting the development of capital markets in the region. We look forward to supporting many more small and medium-sized companies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”
EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard remarked, “The EIF is very pleased to be working with AS Citadele banka and the EIB to provide additional access to finance for SMEs in the Baltics. The combination of the EIF’s investment and structuring expertise and the EIB’s own funds deployment will boost the supply of finance in the region, which will allow thousands of European companies to invest in their growth and development in the medium to long-term.”
The operation is the EIB Group’s second securitisation transaction in the Baltic States. The first agreement supported at least €660 million in additional loans and leases to SMEs and mid-caps in all three Baltic countries.
About the EIB and the EIF
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. The EIB Group has adopted a Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion in climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade leading up to 2030, and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of this roadmap, all new EIB Group operations have been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability, and more.
About AS Citadele banka
AS Citadele banka’s mission is to modernise the financial industry and offer more opportunities to private individuals and businesses throughout the Baltics. In the first nine months of 2022 the bank had 373 000 active customers in the Baltics and issued €972 million in new loans, with its total loan portfolio reaching €3 billion, while total deposits reached €3.8 billion. Citadele Bank is the group’s parent company in Latvia, and its subsidiaries and branches operate in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.