2015 was a year of surprises for NIB. In general, bankers do not like surprises, but for NIB, the past year brought a positive surprise as the disbursements of loans substantially exceeded our expectations, resulting in an all-time high of EUR 2.7 billion for projects that improve the competitiveness and environment of the Nordic–Baltic region. This growth was attributable to a good number of new borrowers in the municipal and private sectors and the growing needs in the municipal field, as well as the Bank’s efforts to broaden its customer base.
When we consider that 94% of this lending received an internal mandate rating of “good” or “excellent”, it becomes apparent that a long-term lender like NIB has a role to fulfil.
In 2015, most of our loans to projects that improve the competitiveness were in the sectors of R&D, infrastructure and energy projects. Examples include a loan to develop natural ingredient solutions for the global food and health industries, and loans to construct the Rail Baltica line.
The majority of our environmental loans related to climate change mitigation and protection of the marine environment in the Nordic–Baltic region, such as constructing a wastewater treatment plant in Helsinki. Several loans support both competitiveness and the environment, such as constructing the energy-efficient research laboratory MAX IV at Lund University and the investment in a new hydropower plant by Lyse Energi AS.
You can find out about our loan projects on our website at www.nib.int.
We also raised EUR 4.3 billion in new funding and continued to issue NIB Environmental Bonds to investors following socially responsible investment principles.
NIB made a profit of EUR 215 million in 2015.
Forty years ago, the Nordic Investment Bank was established to become a co-financier and coordinator of major projects of joint Nordic interest. The Bank has since developed into a Nordic–Baltic long-term lender with a strong commitment to sustainability and growth. As such, NIB continues to serve as a regional forum for intergovernmental dialogue and decision-making.
In 2015, NIB’s Board of Directors concluded a strategy review aimed at further strengthening our ability to fulfil the Bank’s mission. We will continue to implement new strategic initiatives to increase our lending to SMEs, mid-sized corporates, projects in the Arctic and also to counterparts outside the Nordic–Baltic region.
Although the year 2016 has started out in turmoil in the financial markets and with investment activity still constrained, we hope that it will turn out to be another year of positive surprises for the Bank. There is a need, in particular, for infrastructure investments in the Nordic–Baltic region, and NIB expects to play a constructive role in enabling these to materialise.
President & CEO