CEB approves financing for new social projects

27 January 2017

PARIS - At its first meeting for 2017 held in Paris today, the Administrative Council of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved ten new loans worth a total of € 935 million.

Belgium: a € 85 million loan to Société Wallonne du Logement (SWL), a public interest organisation and the main housing association in Wallonia, a region with a high rate of vulnerable and low-income persons. The CEB loan will contribute to the financing of the Walloon government’s social housing programme, thus helping to strengthen social cohesion in the region.

Bulgaria: a € 20 million loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria, a major player in the Bulgarian leasing market. Since 2009, the Bulgarian economy has been severely affected by the economic crisis. CEB funds will be used for a programme aimed at facilitating access to financing for micro, small and medium-sized businesses, expected to reinforce job creation and preservation.

Czech Republic: a € 100 million loan to Československá obchodná banka, a.s., the Czech Republic’s largest commercial bank, to finance projects aimed at the modernisation of public infrastructure and the investments of small businesses. The loan provided by the CEB is expected to have a positive impact on job creation and the promotion of entrepreneurship, which are key to sustainable economic growth.

France: a € 100 million loan to Hémisphère SCI to finance a programme implemented by Adoma for the French government with the aim of providing housing and social support to persons in a precarious situation. CEB funds will be used to create new emergency reception and accommodation facilities for refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable persons. In addition, a € 80 million loan to Société Générale S.A., a major financial institution in the French social economy, to finance projects undertaken by not-for-profit organisations in the areas of health and education. The CEB loan will contribute to strengthening social cohesion in France.

Germany: a € 100 million loan to Investitions- und Strukturbank Rheinland-Pfalz, to part-finance its social housing programme for low-income persons and also provide funds to municipalities for public infrastructure improvements. The CEB loan will help the State of Rhineland-Palatinate to tackle the massive inflow of refugees and the large population growth it has experienced since 2015, providing vulnerable groups with access to housing.

Poland: a € 100 million loan to Société Générale Equipment Leasing Polska S.A., to finance a programme aimed at facilitating access to financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through leasing. The loan provided by the CEB will contribute to the development of Polish MSMEs, boost job creation, and have a sustainable socio-economic impact.

Slovenia: a € 50 million loan to Slovene Export and Development Bank, the mission of which is to support the sustainable development of the Slovene economy through various operations. CEB funds will be used for a programme financing the modernisation of local infrastructure and investments in energy efficiency, thus contributing to the improvement of living conditions in urban and rural areas and the protection of the environment.

Spain: a € 100 million loan to Nuevo Micro Bank S.A.U., the only bank in Spain specialising in microfinance, in order to provide financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and contribute to economic growth. At a time when Spain’s unemployment rate remains high, the MSME sector is a key factor in job creation and preservation.

Sweden: a € 200 million loan to the City of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city with 23% of its population foreign-born, to finance the construction and renovation of school facilities in compulsory education. The CEB loan will help Gothenburg to address its demographic needs and enhance its capacity to integrate migrants by developing further its educational facilities.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 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, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch 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.