CEB Governor visits Finland to discuss housing sector and other investments

20 October 2021

Helsinki/Paris - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, concluded an official visit to Finland where he met with high-level government and municipal officials and visited projects financed through CEB loans.

Governor Wenzel and Tanja Jääskeläinen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Governor Wenzel and Tanja Jääskeläinen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Governor held meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Tampere Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, Director of Tampere City Group, Juha Yli-Rajala, and CEO of Pirkan Opiskelija-asunnot (POAS), Timo Jokinen. 

He reminded that the Bank’s portfolio in Finland had been growing in the past several years. The CEB had been providing loans directly to the largest cities of Finland – Espoo, Turku, Tampere, Kuopio, Vantaa – to finance city infrastructure improvements, such as schools, daycare, sports facilities, and cultural buildings.

In 2020 the Bank began financing specific municipal companies and foundations and joint municipal entities in the sector of student housing, and waste and water management.

“The CEB appreciates cooperation with Finnish municipalities because they have demonstrated to be reliable partners for the Bank to implement various investments of social importance,” said Governor Wenzel. “We are looking forward to developing more projects in the sector of housing in Finland.”

Governor Wenzel and Anna Kaisa Ikonen, Mayor of Tampere
Governor Wenzel and Anna Kaisa Ikonen, Mayor of Tampere
The visit to Tampere was marked by extensive and continued cooperation with municipal authorities that began in 2016. The Bank and the City of Tampere have just signed a new €60 million loan agreement to finance improved services for the city’s growing and diverse population, bringing the total amount of CEB loans to the city to €180 million.
Governor Wenzel with Timo Jokinen, CEO of POAS
Governor Wenzel with Timo Jokinen, CEO of POAS

During his visit, the Governor visited the Kalevan Stara student housing building in Tampere, which the CEB is financing with a €10.3 million loan. Once finished in December 2021, the building will have 55 housing units.

Wrapping up his visit in Helsinki, Governor Wenzel discussed potential CEB support for investments in education, sports facilities, cultural buildings, housing, and healthcare with Mayor Juhana Vartiainen.

The CEB previously approved two loans to the City of Helsinki, namely in 2010, a €110 million loan to support education investments, and in 2009 a €100 million loan to support housing construction for the vulnerable.

A member country of the CEB since 1991, Finland holds 1.28 percent of its capital. In the past five years, the Bank approved many important projects focusing on municipalities, namely city infrastructure improvement, such as schools, daycare, sports facilities and cultural buildings. This represents 11 approved operations totaling more than EUR 630 million in loans.

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, outlook stable, 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.

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