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NIB Opens $652 Million Credit Line to Offset Crisis Fallout

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The Nordic Investment Bank, a supranational lender, will “temporarily” increase lending as the financial turmoil chokes off credit from banks.

The bank set up a new loan program, the NIB Refinancing Facility, of 500 million euros ($652 million), according to a statement today. NIB is owned by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

The program is aimed at counterparts with refinancing needs for recently completed projects, NIB said. Loans under the plan are to be made on “normal terms,” although maturities can be shorter, starting “from three years and up,” NIB said.

“The economic and financial crisis has adversely affected the supply of credit in the Nordic-Baltic region,” Johnny Akerholm, the bank’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “The consequences are felt especially in NIB’s focus sectors, which are vital for long-term sustainable growth.”

NIB, owned 77 percent by top-rated Sweden, Norway and Denmark, said this week it may raise bond sales as much as 17 percent next year to 3.5 billion euros ($4.6 billion), tapping demand from central banks and financial institutions in need of AAA liquid assets. The bank makes long-term loans to projects in energy, transport and infrastructure industries, as well as ventures with environmental goals.

“In this situation, institutions such as NIB, which continue to have good access to funding, can provide an important, complementary role in maintaining critical financing flows,” Aakerholm said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meera Bhatia at mbhatia2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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