CEB approves €483.2 million in seven new loans for social sector investments

27 January 2023

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) today approved seven new loans totalling € 483.2 million for social sector investments in a variety of fields, including social and affordable housing, MSME financing, health and social care, education and vocational training and urban, rural and regional development.

“Today, for the first time, we approved loans that reflect the Bank’s new priorities and lines of action, as defined by our Strategic Framework 2023-2027,” said CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli. “With these operations in several countries and sectors, CEB aims to target even more effectively the most vulnerable populations.”

Germany: A €90 million loan to the leading municipal housing provider in Nuremberg (wbg Nürnberg GmbH Immobilienunternehmen, WBG). The loan will help bolster public housing and social care facilities in the city through the construction and modernisation of the housing stock for the most vulnerable so as to foster social stability and integration in economic and socially diverse neighbourhoods. Part of the loan proceeds will be allocated to the construction of care homes for the elderly. Construction and modernisation investments will incorporate state-of-the-art energy efficiency and climate resilience measures into the designs.

Hungary: A €100 million loan to the Hungarian Export-Import Bank PLC (Eximbank) will support both the investment and working capital needs of micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) that are active in the export-related production and service sectors across the country. In an effort to advance female economic participation, the programme will allocate 15% of the loan proceeds to MSMEs owned or managed by women.

Ireland: A €125 million loan to the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) is aimed at increasing the social housing stock in the country by partially finance the retrofitting of existing rental units as well as the construction of new energy-efficient ones. In this intermediated housing programme, the HFA will on-lend CEB resources to Approved Housing Bodies, which are key non-profit providers of social and affordable housing overseen by the Irish government. This loan marks the sixth operation between the CEB and HFA.   

Republic of Moldova: A €86 million loan to the government will contribute to finance the construction of a new regional hospital in the city of Bălți, as part of a broader programme of decentralisation of tertiary healthcare in the country. The aim of the project is to provide better and more accessible public healthcare services to the population, specifically in the north of the country. The project reflects CEB’s long-standing engagement in support of the healthcare sector in the Republic of Moldova, including by providing COVID-19 pandemic emergency response and, most recently, healthcare services to Ukrainian refugees.

Montenegro: A €30 million loan to the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro (IDF) will part-finance eligible investments undertaken by MSMEs and help strengthen IDF’s capacity to better adapt its financial products to these enterprises, in line with the Montenegrin National Strategy for Sustainable Development. The programme aims to enhance access to finance for MSMEs in underdeveloped regions and support underserved groups such as women-led businesses, youth enterprises, start-ups and small farmers. 

Slovak Republic: A €30 million loan to Trenčín Self-Governing Region will co-finance local investments in transportation, healthcare and education. The loan will cover the country’s own-budget contribution for projects under the EU Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund (ESIF) and the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRP) as well as added investments not covered by EU subsidies. In particular, the loan will finance projects in three districts – also supported under the EU Just Transition Mechanism – whose economies are transitioning away from coal mining.  The loan will play an important role in improving living conditions in the region, while facilitating more dynamic growth and faster convergence with the EU standards. This is the second CEB operation with the Trenčín Region.

Sweden: A €22.2 million project loan to Hemsö Fastighets AB, one of the most experienced entities in the development of social infrastructure in Sweden, to partially finance the re-establishment of the Tensta Gymnasium by creating a high-quality school campus. Once fully developed, this educational facility will have a capacity of up to 1, 500 pupils across education levels as well as dedicated space that can be used by local communities and associations. Tensta, which is located about 15 km north-west of Stockholm city centre, has been defined by the authorities as an “especially vulnerable area,” with the majority of its population being born outside Sweden and an average yearly income almost 50% lower than Stockholm’s average. The CEB loan will allow Hemsö to respond to social development and inclusion challenges by targeting migrant integration in a socially fragile area.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, on review for upgrade, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive and AAA* with Scope Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.