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 The European Investment Bank (EIB) is showing its support for the Hungarian economy and for cohesion projects in Central and Eastern Europe. In Budapest , EIB Vice-President Vázil Hudák signed four different loan agreements for a total amount of EUR 400 million and one advisory agreement. He also

spoke at the Budapest Economic Forum.

Two of the four agreements are guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (or “Juncker Plan”). With backing from the Juncker Plan's EU budget guarantee, MVM Hungarian Electricity Private Limited Company (MVM), the major player in the Hungarian power and gas sectors, will receive a EUR 100 million loan from the EIB to finance its subsidiary MAVIR to modernise and develop its power transmission network, including interconnectors with Slovakia. Budapest Bank, one of the eight largest banks by assets in Hungary, will receive a EUR 25 million loan on favourable conditions to increase its lending volumes to Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The two other agreements include a large framework loan of EUR 225 million (Cohesion Fund Framework Loan IV), aimed at financing investments in water, including flood prevention, waste, energy efficiency, road modernisation and railways, and a EUR 50 million loan to Diakhitel, a state-owned entity responsible for operating Hungary’s higher education student loan scheme.

A fifth agreement is being signed with the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB). Its goal is to help MFB to establish a dedicated advisory unit that will support Hungarian clients when preparing and implementing investment plans. This agreement is backed by the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), the advisory pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (or “Juncker Plan”).

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: "These agreements will have a positive impact on local economic development in Hungary. They show that the Juncker Plan can fully play its role in bringing more cohesion to our Union; it helps Member States and regions grow faster, and grow closer. The two EFSI deals will modernise Hungary's power system, for the direct benefit of the Hungarian people, and will support Hungarian small businesses in need of a financial boost, including in rural areas. In addition, a new EIB loan signed today will help more Cohesion Policy projects in infrastructure see the light of day, and that is great news for long-term regional development in the country."

“The loans signed today demonstrate the EIB’s commitment to cohesion projects in Hungary”, said Vázil Hudák, EIB Vice-President.He is responsible for operations in Hungary and oversees cohesion and advisory programmes at the EU bank. “We are co-financing projects expected to have a positive impact on society and the economy, thanks to better energy generation and efficiency, improved mobility, environmental safety and education. We are also pleased to sign the first direct EFSI corporate loan with MVM and the first EFSI loan with a financial intermediary in Hungary with Budapest Bank, facilitating access to finance for innovative small and medium enterprises. All this will help Hungary to close the gaps between better off and less advanced regions”.