OeEB provided a total of around EUR 304 million in new loans and equity investments in 2022 on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF). Especially in the area of climate protection, which is firmly anchored in the strategy as a cross-cutting objective, the volume of business was increased significantly. OeEB thus remains one of Austria's largest international climate financiers.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of the war in Ukraine and high inflation are posing major challenges, especially for developing and emerging countries, and in some cases considerably restricting their financial leeway. In addition, the consequences of climate change are intensifying the pressure to adapt economic structures more quickly to changing framework conditions. According to the European earth observation programme Copernicus, the year 2022 was the warmest year ever for a quarter of humanity and the fifth warmest worldwide since the weather records began.
"In the face of these challenges and crises, development banks like OeEB have an important role to play by providing urgently needed capital for economically viable projects. In 2022, we were able to further expand our commitment to combating the climate crisis: From wind energy and energy efficiency measures in Serbia, to green loans for SMEs in Ecuador, to the first fully electric bus fleet for public transport in Vietnam - with our financing we enable investments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make a positive contribution to the climate," emphasises Sabine Gaber, member of OeEB's Executive Board.
Mobilisation of the private sector
In order to realise the United Nations' 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is more important than ever to mobilise funds from the private sector against the background outlined above. The Gutmann OeEB Impact Fund, which was initiated successfully by OeEB and Bank Gutmann at the end of 2019, successfully completed the capital raising phase in April last year and reached its final closing with EUR 72 million. Within the term ten investments are made in target funds, which in turn invest directly in small and medium-sized private sector companies or financial institutions.
Board member Michael Wancata: "With the Gutmann OeEB Impact Fund, we give private investors the opportunity to invest their capital in a profitable and meaningful way. The overriding goal is to improve the living conditions of people in developing and emerging countries. In particular, the fund contributes to the creation of good and fair employment, the increase of local income and the development of markets and sectors. By the end of 2022, more than 4.5 million previously underserved private customers will have access to financial services. And by 2025, more than 230,000 new local jobs are expected to be created through the investments of the target funds."
Strong engagement in Africa
In its strategy, OeEB has set itself the goal of expanding its activities in Africa and the world's least developed countries. In December 2018, the African-Austrian SME Investment Facility (AAIF) was launched to support companies from Austria or the European Union in setting up businesses or developing projects in Africa. Due to the success of the instrument so far and the great interest on the part of Austrian companies, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the OeEB extended the Investment Facility in January 2023 for another three years and increased it by EUR 20 million.
Results at a glance
OeEB generated a net profit for the year of EUR 3.65 million in the past financial year (2021: EUR 5 million). The operating profit was EUR 6.7 million (2021: EUR 7 million). With new business of around EUR 304 million (investment financing and equity participations), the total portfolio of loans and participations amounted to EUR 1.62 billion at the end of the year. OeEB provided EUR 0.82 million for project-related measures to strengthen developmental effects. These projects were again financed entirely from own funds.
OeEB's annual report is available here.