The FINANCIAL — In 2017, NIB continued to expand its lending operations.
The Bank signed 55 loans, totalling EUR 3,665 million. The loans aimed at improving productivity mainly supported investments in R&D, infrastructure and energy. On the environmental side, the focus was on projects aimed at improving wastewater treatment in the member countries. The net profit reached EUR 211 million. Based on last year’s results, the Bank’s Board of Directors is proposing to pay out EUR 55 million in dividends to the member countries.
“NIB’s purpose is to support the sustainable growth of the Nordic–Baltic region through long-term financing. The strong financial standing of the Bank is crucial to maintain the ability to make an impact. The year 2017 was no exception”, says Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO.
In 2017, more than half of the new loans were extended to new borrowers, further increasing NIB’s relevance and diversifying the portfolio. The Bank continued investing in green bonds issued by companies and municipalities in the member countries. By the end of the year, NIB’s holdings in green bonds totalled EUR 283 million, according to NIB.
Improvements to public infrastructure in the member countries dominated in NIB’s lending in 2017. The Bank extended financing for projects in railway transport, road building, airports, education institutions and hospitals. In the private sector, loans were provided to finance capital expenditure as well as R&D. The financing of mid-cap companies and small and medium-sized enterprises continued at a high level through onlending via local banks and other financial intermediary institutions.
Most of the new lending—97% of the total amount—went to projects rated “good” or “excellent” in their potential to improve productivity and the environment. The amount of loans with positive effects on the environment was close to EUR 1 billion. These loans were earmarked for BREEAM- and LEED-certified green buildings, wastewater treatment projects, biomass-fired power plants and projects in other sectors.
The Bank’s new funding amounted to EUR 5.9 billion in 58 transactions. NIB Environmental Bonds have become an important part of the Bank’s funding strategy, and the seven transactions in 2017, totalling EUR 920 million, were the highest amount of green bonds the Bank has issued so far. With the total amount of green bonds outstanding at EUR 2.9 billion as of the end of December 2017, NIB remained the biggest Nordic green bond issuer.
The Bank’s net profit amounted to EUR 211 million, which is in line with the previous year’s figure. Based on this financial result, the Bank’s Board of Directors is proposing to pay out EUR 55 million in dividends to the member countries for the year 2017.
“Although the Nordic countries are among the world’s most competitive and advanced economies and the Baltic countries are rapidly catching up, the region should continue seeking new sustainable solutions towards a low-carbon future. NIB will also continue contributing to its member countries’ efforts to tackle climate change, protect marine environments, prevent pollution and improve productivity”, says the NIB President.