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Best borrowers 2011: EIB's focus on investor relations pays off

Aftershock of European debt crisis hits supranationals.

You didn’t have to be one of Europe’s more pressured sovereign borrowers to have suffered from the whiplash of contagion at the height of the European debt crisis. Triple-A supranationals were also adversely affected. "Three or four years ago, investors were happy to buy credits like EIB on the strength of the triple-A rating alone," says Eila Kreivi, head of capital markets department at the European Investment Bank’s Luxembourg headquarters. "In times of crisis, when headlines and economic change blur the picture, investors require more feedback on the credit story to gain reassurance on fundamentals. Last year, for example, rumours were flying around about EIB being the bailout entity in the eurozone." Mercifully, those rumours have been squashed. But as Kreivi says, changes in the market environment in 2010 had a material impact on EIB’s funding tactics. "In the second quarter of last year we reduced our issuance of large benchmarks because volatility and execution risk was heightened," she says.