Extracts from the press conference by Philippe Maystadt, President of the European Investment Bank, on the EIB’s 2008 activities and the perspectives and major challenges for 2009
Philippe Maystadt, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) presented on 9 March 2009 in Brussels, the EIB’s 2008 activities and the perspectives and major challenges for 2009.
The European Investment Bank increased its lending for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by more than 42 percent in 2008, underscoring its commitment to provide rapid additional support for the European economy in the current crisis. Total EIB lending rose by 21 percent last year to EUR 57bn, compared to EUR 48bn in 2007. Loan signatures rose sharply towards the end of the year, reflecting the EIB's swift response to help underpin economic recovery at the request of the European Union's Member States. This translated quickly into an increase in disbursements, which rose 12 percent to EUR 48.6bn. From October 2008 to end-February 2009, signatures across the 27 EU Member States amounted to EUR 31.3bn - 38 percent more than in the same period of 2007-2008. The EIB committed itself last September to boosting SME finance to help smaller businesses weather the financial and economic storm. As a result, the Bank signed loans for SMEs worth EUR 8.1 bn last year - more than half of this in the fourth quarter alone - against EUR 5.7bn in 2007, while also making the lending process simpler, more flexible and more transparent.
Another sector where the EIB invested more money in 2008 and foresee for 2009 is the automotive sector. Energy and climate change remain also priorities for the EIB. SHOTLISTLINKLINK