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EIB: quality in breadth

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has achieved a breadth of funding sources that few borrowers can rival. It is the only supranational issuer with benchmark programmes in three currencies - euros, dollars and sterling - and it is also the largest non-resident borrower in central and eastern Europe. Rene Karsenti, EIB's director general of finance, says: "We have a strategic presence in the accession states as we lend in these countries. It's also important to contribute to the development of these local bond markets in the run-up to EU accession, as we did with Portugal, Greece and Spain before their own accession."

Barbara Bargagli-Petrucci, head of the bank's capital markets department, adds: "The EIB is unique in that it has domestic bond issuance programmes in the accession states, as well as access to Eurobond markets in these currencies. Our issuance here is driven by our lending in these states, and we expect this to grow as the EIB funds bigger projects as these states near entry to the EU.

Hopefully we will broaden our investor base here as our funding needs expand." The EIB has already set up programmes worth e600 million in Polish zlotys, Hungarian forints and Czech koruna, and continues to borrow heavily in Swiss francs and the Scandinavian currencies.

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