Evaluation Report. EIB financing with own resources through global loans under Mediterranean mandates. Operations Evaluation (EV) Synthesis Report

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1 Evaluation Report Operations Evaluation (EV) EIB financing with own resources through global loans under Mediterranean mandates Synthesis Report

2 EIB financing with own resources through global loans under Mediterranean mandates Prepared by Operations Evaluation Juan Alario Patricia Castellarnau External Consultant: DFC S.A. Robert Wilson (team leader) Alain Davet Philippe Nouvel December 2004 * * * NOTICE The EIB has an obligation of confidentiality in relation to the financial intermediaries and owners and operators of the projects referred to in this report. Neither the EIB nor the consultants employed on these studies will disclose to a third party any information that might result in breach of that obligation, and the EIB and the consultants will neither assume any obligation to disclose any further information nor seek consent from relevant sources to do so.

3 GLOSSARY DFIs EIB EV EIA FEMIP FIs FB GLs IFI MPCs MDBs MED region NPLs OpsB OJEU PJ SMEs TA Development Finance Institutions European Investment Bank Operations Evaluation of the EIB Environmental Impact Assessment Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership Financial Intermediaries Final beneficiaries of the GL Global Loans International Financial Institutions Mediterranean Partner Countries Multi-lateral Development Banks This includes the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel and Gaza-West Bank. Non Performing loans Directorate for Lending Operations-Outside Europe Official Journal of the EU Projects Directorate Small to medium-sized enterprises Technical Assistance

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 FEMIP GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE REPORT 4 TABLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS 5 1 INTRODUCTION THE MEDITERRANEAN MANDATES THE FINANCIAL SECTOR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES 9 2 EIB OBJECTIVES AND FINANCING THROUGH GLOBAL LOANS IN MEDITERRANEAN PARTNER COUNTRIES BACKGROUND OBJECTIVES OF EIB GL EIB FINANCING THROUGH GL 12 3 PERFORMANCE OF THE GLOBAL LOANS EVALUATED EVALUATION APPROACH RELEVANCE EVALUATION OF THE FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES THE EIB GL AGGREGATE GL PERFORMANCE 21 4 EIB VALUE ADDED FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE FIS 23 5 EIB MANAGEMENT OF THE PROJECT CYCLE IDENTIFICATION AND SELECTION APPRAISAL FOLLOW UP AND MONITORING ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROCUREMENT CO-OPERATION AND CO-ORDINATION WITH OTHER EU INSTITUTIONS AND MDBS 27 6 LESSONS LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS 29 APPENDIX 1 - SUMMARY OF MEDA GLOBAL LOANS ON OWN RESOURCES SIGNED BETWEEN 1979 AND APPENDIX 1 - EVALUATION SUMMARY 33 APPENDIX 2 - SUMMARY OF THE RATINGS OF THE GL EVALUATED 35 APPENDIX 3 - EVALUATION CRITERIA 36

5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Bank s activities in the Mediterranean region 1 started in the late seventies, as part of the bilateral Financial Protocols signed between the European Community and Mediterranean Partner countries. In 1997, the EUROMED mandates replaced the former Protocols and the latest mandate covers the period up to The Bank s main priorities under the EUROMED mandates are: Private sector development, including support for SMEs and joint ventures between EU and Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) enterprises; Upgrading of economic infrastructures, including those necessary to encourage interregional trade. The level of cooperation and assistance to the region has broadened and deepened over time, which has also led to a more prominent role for the EIB. In 2002, the European Council gave a new mandate to the Bank - the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), which expanded the Bank s lending in the region and has a particular focus on developing the private sector. This evaluation covers EIB financing with own resources through global loans (GLs). This type of financing has amounted to EUR 2.02 bn for the region up until end Most of the lending has gone to Turkey (47%), Tunisia (18%), Israel (11%) and Morocco (11%). The main focus of the evaluation is the GL as a financial instrument, not the investments financed by the GL. However, a sample of sub-projects funded has been reviewed in order to assess whether the selection procedures used by the FIs ensure that sound and relevant projects were funded, and to estimate the value added of the GL to the final beneficiaries. The main objective of GLs is to channel EIB funding to sound and relevant investments that are below the threshold for EIB direct lending; primarily to SMEs and later to a range of small agricultural and public sector infrastructure projects (including environmental and energy savings). For an in-depth evaluation, EV selected a sample of ten GLs from operations signed in the period In selecting the sample, a reasonable spread of operations across targeted sub-sectors and the countries 2 of the region was ensured. The operations were evaluated based on the internationally accepted evaluation criteria (see Appendix 4) of relevance, efficacy, efficiency and sustainability. Against these criteria and using a 4-level rating scale, one operation was rated 4 (good), 5 were rated 3 (satisfactory) and four were rated 2 (unsatisfactory). None were rated 1 (poor). 1 This includes the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, and Gaza-West bank. 2 No operation in Israel could be selected for evaluation as none of the GLs in the period considered were substantially disbursed at the time of the evaluation. 1

6 Relevance All the GLs evaluated are clearly consistent with the objectives of the EU mandates, as well as with national objectives and beneficiaries requirements. Thus, the rating of the relevance criteria was good for all the operations evaluated. The six GLs evaluated targeting SMEs, including tourism, support the development of the private sector in the region. In several cases, the GLs contributed to specific national programmes aiming at modernising or enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs. The other four GLs evaluated contributed to different objectives, such as upgrading economic infrastructures, agricultural development, environmental investments by enterprises and energy saving investments. Performance of the financial intermediaries The financial situation of the Financial Intermediaries (FIs) evaluated varies from satisfactory to unsatisfactory, except in one case where it was rated poor. The main problem of the FIs evaluated, and of the banking sector in the region in general, is the high proportion of non-performing loans (NPL). In the FIs evaluated, NPL represents between 22 and 45% of the total loan portfolio in recent years, with the exception of the Turkish bank evaluated, where this percentage is around 7% to 8%. Since the Bank s appraisal in mid 1990s, FIs evaluated have significantly improved their organisation and procedures, particularly their credit analysis. This in part is the result of government programmes to improve the effectiveness and soundness of the banking sector, often supported by international organisations, as well as a response to increasing competition in their traditional markets. Despite the challenges faced, all the FIs evaluated were considered sustainable, except one, due mainly to its high level of NPLs. Performance of the EIB Global Loan The total amount of the global loans has been substantially committed and disbursed in all the cases evaluated. However, only in a minority of cases have their specific objectives been fully met. This is due to financing going to larger projects than originally foreseen and/or financing going to sectors or projects not initially foreseen. The duration of the sub-loans was normally between 4 and 8 years, including the grace period, except in one case where it was 15 years. The duration of the EIB GL was significantly higher (normally years expect in one case where it was 18 years). The longer duration of the EIB loan encourages the FIs to provide the final beneficiaries with loans of longer duration. It is the Bank s policy to allow market forces to determine the on-lending conditions, although, in a few cases, the EIB applied specific on-lending conditions. The credit quality of the projects financed by the EIB GLs was similar or slightly better than the total loan portfolio of the banks financed. In several cases, arrears on repayments were caused by delays in implementing the projects and the impact of the slowdown of the economy. This is related to the degradation of the political and economic context of the region in recent years. On the positive side, most of the investments financed are achieving or surpassing the initial objectives, particularly those aimed at exporting manufactured products. The information on the quality of public infrastructure projects was very limited. However, in one of the GLs targeting this type of project, it was found that some of the projects financed faced significant implementation or sustainability problems. 2

7 EIB value added The financial value-added provided by the EIB to these operations has generally been found to be significant or high; because throughout the region medium-long term financing (MLT) has been in limited supply and access to the international financial markets was also restricted. The fact that the EIB is a regular provider of MLT funding to the evaluated FIs has provided reliable support to the gradual modernisation and expansion of the private sector in the region. However, this financial value added is being eroded in certain countries, as there is an increasing availability of MLT funding from the local market. In addition, as the loans provided by the EIB were in foreign currencies, foreign exchange cover was an important issue in all the GL assessed. The EIB s pragmatic and non-bureaucratic approach was clearly valued by the FIs and final beneficiaries visited. Improving the organisation of the FIs or institutional development in general was not a specific policy objective of the EIB at the time these GLs were approved. Therefore, it is not surprising that the EIB has contributed little to FI development in the GLs evaluated. However, this has changed since the establishment of the Technical Assistance facility under the FEMIP, aimed at supporting institutional and policy reform and the privatisation process. EIB management of the project cycle The identification and selection by the EIB of FIs suitable to receive an EIB GL was rated good or satisfactory in all the cases evaluated. However, the choice of FIs eligible for a GL was limited by the Bank s requirement of a government or first class international bank guarantee for the GL financed with own resources. The main strength of the EIB appraisal process, as perceived by FI clients, is the capacity to complete the appraisal quickly by comparison to other MDBs. In this respect, the flexible and pragmatic approach of the EIB is highly appreciated when compared to that of other MDBs active in the region. The appraisals carried out by the Bank were rated satisfactory in most of the operations reviewed. However, it was found that the appraisal often lacked enough depth to add significant value, particularly the analysis of the organisation and procedures of the FI, including environmental and procurement issues. Once the GL has been approved, the EIB focus has been seen to be on signing, committing and disbursing the loan as quickly as possible. In certain cases, some of the objectives and sometimes specific conditions, mentioned at appraisal were not adequately reflected in the finance contract or side letter to the contract, or were later waived or modified. In all GLs evaluated the quality of the follow up was poor or unsatisfactory, except in one case. There was normally no ongoing analysis of the FIs situation, except for repeated operations with the same FI. In addition, the Bank has very little information on the investment soundness and development impact of the sub-projects financed. In order to face these deficiencies, the Bank is reinforcing the GLs follow-up. 3

8 FEMIP GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE REPORT FEMIP notes with satisfaction that the Global Loans made in the Mediterranean Region during the period 1989 to 2001 have been consistent with the objectives of the EU mandates and the economic policies of the countries concerned, have been fully disbursed in most cases under review, and that the value-added provided by the EIB has generally been highly rated. Although the selection process of Financial Intermediaries (FIs) has been satisfactorily rated, the report highlights the high proportion of non-performing loans of FIs evaluated, which reflects the overall problems of the banking sector during the period. The report identifies several areas of possible improvement of EIB's approach to GLs in the region, in particular: (i) a greater attention to the needs of smaller enterprises (ii) the capacity building of financial intermediaries (iii) the widening of EIB's financial products (iv) increased monitoring of FIs and sub-project, with respect inter alia to the environmental impact of sub-projects. All the global loans evaluated have been extended before the launching of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment Parnership (FEMIP) in Under the FEMIP, SME lending and capacity building have been identified as key priorities for the Bank's activities in the Mediterranean region. A "Special Femip Envelope" (SFE) has been introduced in the course of 2004 to provide funding to projects or financial intermediaries with a higher risk profile; the issuing of local currency denominated bonds is being sought, with Morocco as a "show-case". The Technical Assistance component of FEMIP provides an important instrument to enhance the quality and developmental impact of EIB operations in the area. Four TA programmes targeting SME funding and FIs capacity building have already been launched in the region. The FEMIP Trust Fund has been established in 2004 and will focus on providing further technical assistance in favour of private sector funding. The opening of regional or local offices in the region is also assisting the Bank in identifying the needs of smaller enterprises and selecting local beneficiaries, as well as monitoring the Bank's projects and sub-projects and coordinating with other donors. New posts of monitoring assistants were created at FEMIP's headquarters in Luxembourg with a view to intensifying monitoring activities and better defining future operations. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with the IBRD (World Bank) and the EU Commission in May 2004 enhancing donor coordination in the Mediterranean region, with the development of the private sector as a priority. In addition, the environmental assessment for GLs has been reinforced in the Bank's 2004 environmental policy statement. 4

9 TABLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS EV Recommendation 1. Adapt guarantee requirements for GLs enabling the Bank to finance more private sector banks without the requirement of a government guarantee and offer new products, such as financing in local currencies (Sections 2.3, 4.1 and 5.1). 2. When necessary, assist FIs through technical assistance thereby encouraging their development and financial sector reform. Such programmes also need to be carefully co-ordinated with other donors to avoid overlapping or duplication of effort (section 4.2). Accepted Yes / No Yes, with limitations due to local context for local currency issues and lending. Yes. Ops B / PJ Comments Under the reinforced FEMIP, the Bank has decided to broaden the range of eligible counterparts for its own resources loans. It can now lend to eligible local banks without government or international guarantees under the Special FEMIP Envelope (SFE). The Bank is also considering the possibility to provide financing in local currencies in MED in order to enhance the competitiveness of its own resources loans. Discussions are being held in this respect with the Moroccan Government and local financial institutions to implement a regulatory framework acceptable to the Bank. However, local currency funding will depend on the Bank s competitiveness, in particular in situations where local banks are extremely liquid in local currency. The Bank is already assisting FIs in the region, when appropriate, using the FEMIP Technical Assistance (TA) facility (TA has been set up under FEMIP in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon). The main objective of on-going TA operations is capacity building at the FI s level, where other donors are rarely found. TA is being considered for sector reform under the Trust Fund, in full coordination with other donors. 5

10 3. During appraisal, better analyse the FIs organisation and procedures and ensure that the areas to be improved are addressed. In particular, the Bank should carry out a more rigorous analysis of the FIs capability and commitment to developing its business in the sub-sector targeted by the GL and ensure that the Bank s environmental and procurement guidelines are understood and applied. The latter is mainly required for GLs targeting public infrastructures (Sections 5.2, 5.4 and 5.5). 4 Support FIs that aim at developing financing to smaller enterprises in the region and link, when necessary, such operations to smaller enterprises support programmes that assist them to develop bankable projects (Sections 2.3 and 3.4). Yes. Yes, with limitations inherent to the GL structure. Ops B notes that the appraisals reviewed were rated satisfactory in most cases, but agrees that there is room for improvement. At present, in the context of FEMIP, Technical Assistance funds are used to address specific FI's weaknesses by reinforcing FI's technical capacity and improving internal processes, including environmental assessment capabilities and procedures. In addition, it is proposed that, although the Project Directorate (PJ) does not normally contribute to the appraisal of global loans, technical expertise be requested from PJ for certain environmentally sensitive sectors and projects. In addition, sub-projects requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be assessed independently by the EIB, in line with the Bank's guidelines. The monitoring of procurement practices will be reinforced. Financing smaller enterprises was not a specific objective of the MED mandates. It is however a priority for the FEMIP, which provides instruments (see in particular references to SFE and TA above) to contribute to this objective. In particular, FEMIP seeks to support FIs that aim at developing financing to smaller enterprises in the region and link, when necessary, such operations to SME support programmes that assist them to develop bankable projects. However, FIs will retain the final decision since they are carrying the financial risk on the final beneficiary. FIs lending to smaller SMEs amount to higher risks that FIs may be unwilling to take, or to take at significantly higher margins (reflecting the risk). 6

11 5. Assure that all the objectives and specific conditions pertaining to a GL operation are reflected in the Finance Contract or Side Letter to the Finance Contract and that their implementation is followed up (Sections 3.4 and 5.5). 6 Assess the investment soundness and developmental impact of a sample of sub-projects financed, following conclusion of the allocation period of each global loan, in particular for a repeater operation, including site visits to a sample of sub-projects financed (Sections and 5.3). 7 Improve monitoring of the financial situation and organisation of FIs, through regular reporting. In case a FI does not comply with its reporting requirements, a field mission might be necessary (Sections 5.3). Yes. The objectives of the mandates and of the specific GL are often general and thus difficult to translate into specific conditions. Ops B agrees that there is scope to better reflect them in the Financial Contracts or the Side Letters in the context of measures to increase its value added (pillar 3). In addition, FEMIP s TA budget provides additional scope for reinforcing conditionality. FIs reporting is currently being reviewed with a view to introducing improvements in the course of Yes. The monitoring of allocations, including site visits, is carried out, but, as the report states, not on a systematic basis. Ops B need to reflect on the appropriate ways and resource allocation to perform these activities, by focusing for instance on value added and environmental soundness, and without creating additional work for the FIs. The assessment recommended is an expost activity that Ops B should carry out in cooperation with PJ and possibly EV. In this respect, Ops B is also considering the possibility of introducing a balanced scorecard for GL. Yes. Follow up of the FIs is usually done on a regular basis, but reports are not systematically prepared, especially when no major issue is identified. However, there is scope for the improvement of FIs reporting requirements and the Bank s monitoring through selected financial ratios and more focus on organisational aspects. More consideration could also be given to field missions when the information is limited. 7

12 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 The Mediterranean mandates The European Investment Bank s (EIB) activities in the southern and eastern non-member countries of the Mediterranean Region have developed within the framework of the European Union s political and economic relationships with the Region. The main goals of the EU s policies towards the region have been political as well as economic. Beginning in the late1970s 3, a series of Cooperation Agreements were signed between the European Community and Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs), which included bilateral Financial Protocols providing for loans from the European Investment Bank and grants from the aid budget of the European Commission 4. In 1992, the Horizontal Financial Cooperation Programme was adopted as an instrument for reinforcing financial assistance to the region. This facility provided for additional financing on EIB own resources and risk capital finance on a first come first served basis and was implemented in parallel with the balance of funding under the Third Financial Protocols. The Barcelona Declaration adopted by the 15 Member States and the 12 MPCs 5 established a framework for broader and deeper co-operation. The former Financial Protocols were replaced by the EUROMED resolution and, as far as the Bank was concerned, resulted in a new Mandate for operations in the region, EUROMED. The new mandates laid down three objectives for future co-operation being: The foundation of a common area of peace and stability. The progressive establishment of a free trade area between the EU and the MPCs though Association Agreements. The development of human resources, cultural understanding and exchanges between civil societies. The areas in which the EUROMED mandates expected that the Bank would enhance its activities were implicit in the broader objectives set out in the EUROMED Resolution, especially: Private sector development, including support for SMEs and for joint investment between EU and MPCs enterprises. Upgrading of economic infrastructure including that necessary to encourage interregional trade such as telecommunications, transport and power. The EUROMED I Mandate covered the period and established a ceiling on own resources financing of 2310 MEUR for the period. This mandate was followed by EUROMED II covering the period and the ceiling on own resources finance was extended to 6425 MEUR. In addition these mandates include risk capital financing and interest subsidies for environmental projects. Following the conclusions of the Presidency of the Nice Council in 2000, the Bank was invited to finance projects of mutual interest between EU and Partner countries without recourse to the EU guarantee for political and commercial risk (up to 1bn EUR). 3 Prior to this an Association Agreement had been signed between the EC and Turkey with similar objectives. 4 Interest rate subsidies of 2% were provided on EIB loans and financed from the grant budget. Risk Capital was introduced under the Second Financial Protocol (funded by the Commission but managed by the EIB). 5 Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, and Palestine. 8

13 In 2002, the European Council called for a further initiative in the Mediterranean region. The possibility of creating a new financial institution with a dedicated mandate for the MED region was mooted, but attracted limited support from either Member States or MPCs. Instead the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) was approved giving additional financial objectives for the Bank in the region with a particular focus to developing the private sector. Aside from the political factors that may have influenced this decision (increasing instability in the region), it was widely recognised that the economic reform process in the MED region needs to be deepened and accelerated. The main changes to the EIB s remit resulting from the establishment of FEMIP are the following: Increase the Bank s financing with own resources in the region by up to EUR 1.5 billion in the period Lending on own resources to be complemented by risk capital operations whose use will be extended through the creation of new financial instruments. A Technical Assistance facility for the identification, design and management of new investment projects and to support policy reform and privatisation processes. The creation of a Supervisory Ministerial Committee composed of representatives of Member States, MPCs and Experts Committees. The establishment of decentralised operational EIB offices in the Region. In terms of financial products, under the current mandates the EIB offers: the standard senior loan on own resources, risk capital that can be used for different purposes (equity or quasi equity participations, etc.) and interest subsidies for environmental projects. Country framework agreements Under the Financial Protocols, the Bank lending to individual MPCs was carried out within the framework of a bilateral agreement between the European Community and each country. With the phasing out of the Financial Protocols a new legal structure was required to provide the Bank with the necessary guarantees regarding tax exemptions and availability of foreign currency that were implicit in the Protocols. In their place, framework agreements have been signed between the Bank and each country that are then ratified by the legislative assembly of the country concerned. The agreement allows the Bank to finance projects in both the public and private sectors in the host countries and sets out withholding tax exemptions. In addition the Government undertakes to make foreign currency available for the servicing of debt by EIB borrowers. Procedures are also agreed through which the selection of projects to be financed by the Bank is subject to the agreement by the Bank s counterpart Ministry (generally Finance or Planning). Thus through the Framework Agreements the de jure preferred Creditor Status of the Bank has been preserved. 1.2 The financial sector in the Mediterranean countries There are major differences in the level of development of the financial sector in the Mediterranean countries (Maghreb, Mashreq and Turkey). While its development 6 is relatively high in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, it is still low in Algeria and Syria. 6 From Evaluating Financial Sector Development in MENA: A new methodology and some results. IMF papers. 9

14 However, there are some common features. In the majority of MED countries, bank ownership remains primarily in government hands, while private banks still represent a small share of the market and focus on a limited clientele. There is still a high level of intervention of the governments in credit allocation. Public financial institutions continue to be utilised as instruments of the government to develop sectoral policies. However, Governments are progressively putting in place alternative means to pursue their sectoral policies and at the same time reducing the role of public financial institutions in policy implementation. Since the early-mid 1980s certain countries have been implementing wide-ranging programmes to progressively liberalise their economies and to make them more open and competitive internationally. Substantial funding from international financial institutions, including the EIB, has supported these programmes. In this context, the banking sector has progressively been liberalized, restructured and open to foreign investment; although the progress has been rather slow in most countries. Central banks have played a lead role in this process and they have progressively put in place prudential regulations to force banks to improve their financial situation and management. These programmes should facilitate access of the private sector to financing, which is at present significantly limited, particularly medium-long term financing. Despite the efforts aiming at strengthening the banking sectors, many banks in the region are affected by significant problems, of which, the high level of non-performing loans (NPL) is by far the most important (see the share of NPL in the FI evaluated in 3.3). Although the proportion of NPL s in banks total assets had progressively decreased in the 1990s in most of the countries, it has generally increased in recent years. This is the result of the impact of the economic slowdown, linked in part to the stagnation of some structural reform programmes and growing instability in the region. 10

15 2 EIB OBJECTIVES AND FINANCING THROUGH GLOBAL LOANS IN MEDITERRANEAN PARTNER COUNTRIES 2.1 Background The global loan 7 mechanism was pioneered by the World Bank (WB) in the 1960s as a means to allow the bank to finance small investment projects promoted by private sector investors through local financial intermediaries in the countries of its operations. Since most commercial banks had neither the appetite nor the capacity to handle SME lending, the WB frequently provided support for the creation of dedicated DFIs 8, in which the Government was the only or principal shareholder (for example IDB Jordan and DIB Egypt). During the 1980s many DFIs were discredited due inter alia to lending to connected parties and political interference. Portfolio quality was also affected due to the absence of adequate forex risk cover schemes when sub-loans were granted in local currency and the currency subsequently underwent substantial devaluations. The WB moved away from direct lending to DFIs to wholesale Apex operations under which the second tier financial intermediaries were often private commercial banks, although the lending was channelled through specialised units set up within Ministries of Finance or Central Banks. Most MDBs initially adopted the World Bank 9 model for financing small investments, and the EIB was among them. EIB global loans were first deployed in Member States, replicating the World Bank model, and notably in Italy. The overarching aim of such operations was to finance projects too small to benefit from direct loans, rather than assisting financial sector or institutional development. The mechanism was extended to support small infrastructure projects including energy saving investments, pollution abatement and small infrastructures. It was in this context that the Bank s Global Loan operations in the Mediterranean Region began in the early eighties Objectives of EIB GL Whilst the Financial Protocols were in force (up to 1996), the Bank s lending strategy in each MPC was determined by the Programming Document, which was the output of the joint Programming mission carried out by the Commission and the Bank. Commonly, the Programming Document identified support to private sector development and/or SMEs as a priority objective. Therefore, the mounting of Global Loan operations in the region up to 1996 can be said to have been in line with general objectives agreed between the Bank and Government. Between 1996 and 2002, Global Loan operations appear to have been carried out on a rather ad hoc basis in terms of lending strategy. Unlike other MDBs, the EIB did not adopt the practice of drawing up Country Strategy Papers as part of the participative process in designing future lending programmes to replace the Country Programming exercise. This more flexible approach does not seem to have affected the volume or quality of the lending through GLs, but may have reduced the scope for identifying new sectors which might have benefited from GL lending. 7 The World Bank and other MDBs more commonly use the acronym LOC (lines of credit) to describe such operations. 8 Development Finance Institutions 9 Other examples being the Inter American Development Bank, the African Development Bank and, more recently, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 10 An exception was Turkey, which had signed an Association Agreement with the Community in Global loan operations though TSKB began earlier than those in other MEDA countries. TSKB was established along the lines of the classic DFI model with WB assistance, but has since been wholly privatised. 11

16 This situation has changed significantly with the creation of FEMIP. The general objectives for EIB lending in the MED region have been formally extended to include financial sector development and addressing the constraints to private sector development. The institution of a new governance structure through FEMIP provides a medium through which MPCs will participate with the Bank in the definition of pluriannual business plans, which better cater for their development needs. Thus a strategic framework now exists under which new Global Loan operations will form an integral part of a jointly determined lending programme for each country. In the past it has not been the Bank s usual policy to include conditionalities related to FI organisation and procedures or institutional issues in its Global Loan contracts. The FEMIP governance process may allow the Bank to become more pro-active in the reform process, whether of the financial sector or the targeted sub-sector by including conditions in its future loan agreements. The specific objective of Global Loans has been to channel EIB funding to investments which were below the threshold for EIB direct lending - primarily to SMEs and later to agricultural and a range of small public sector infrastructure. The selection of strong financial intermediaries, which have proper organisation and sound procedures in place, is a further and important operational objective since in a GL the FI is the Bank s direct borrower and because the appraisal of sub-projects financed is delegated by the EIB to the financial intermediary. It was therefore an important objective to demonstrate that the FI has the capacity to appraise sub-projects in accordance with the EIB s own standards. Finally, a further consideration relates to possible market distortions in GL operations. Since the phasing out of interest subsidies on its loans to the region, the EIB has had a clear policy objective of non-distortion of local financial markets. Onlending rates were therefore only capped if, due to lack of competition, there was a risk of opportunistic pricing in the market. 2.3 EIB financing through GL A summary of own resource Global Loans signed in the MED region between 1979 and 2003 is provided in Appendix In total, 70 loans have been signed for EUR 2.02 bn. Most of the lending has gone to Turkey (47%), Tunisia (18%), Israel (11%) and Morocco (11%), followed by Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. No GL operation on own resources has been established in Algeria or Syria, and an operation set up in Gaza-West Bank had to be cancelled due to the deteriorating situation in the territories. Initially, Global Loan operations were mainly to public sector DFIs because this facilitated obtaining the government guarantee which the EIB required. However the use of the Apex structure has broadened the number of banks participating in global loan operations to privately owned commercial banks in a number of countries in the region. Furthermore, the increased availability of risk capital has enabled the Bank to diversify its financial products to the region in a significant way Based on information taken from the Bank s internal database. This excludes some operations signed, but under which no disbursements took place (e.g. CIB Egypt). 12 For example the financing of venture capital and equity funds 12

17 Figure: EIB financing in MED with own resources through Global Loans Although financing (signatures) through GLs has significantly increased in recent years (see figure), there has been a decrease in the number of new operations signed in most countries of the region since 1995, with the exception of Tunisia and Turkey. This is due to three factors: The problems faced by many public sector FIs has led to a decrease in the number of FIs which could be considered as meeting the EIB s selection criteria and has not been offset by a portfolio diversification towards private sector banks; Private sector banks could not provide adequate guarantees at cost which would make the GL competitive for on-lending to SMEs; Increased use of the Apex structure, which has resulted in an increase in the number of participating FIs, including private banks, if not the number of operations. Global loans have been utilised for financing a diversity of sub-sectors in the MED region: SME financing Global Loans to provide finance for SMEs constitute the most significant portion of the EIB s own resource Global Loan portfolio. Several operations have focused on export oriented SMEs, both because of their contribution to foreign exchange earnings at the national level and also because, in the absence of an exchange risk cover mechanism they are of course better positioned to service a foreign currency loan. The increasing amounts allocated per GL since 2000 in Tunisia and Turkey suggests a significant market for the product when appropriately designed to address the needs of SMEs and where efficient FIs can be identified. It may be noted that Tunisia and Turkey are two of the countries in the region where financial sector reform has progressed furthest. As regards to SME financing, a legitimate question is what constitutes an SME. The standard reference used in the GL evaluated has been in most of the cases the standard EU definition 13. This definition appears over-dimensioned in the low-middle income countries, which make up the MED region, with the possible exception of Turkey. 13 Up to 500 employees and total assets of not more than EUR 75 million. 13

18 Small infrastructure financing Global Loans have been utilised for financing small infrastructures, usually but not always, sponsored by municipalities initially in those countries where a specialised FI had been set up for this purpose. Agricultural development Initially a number of Global Loans were made to support on-farm investments through state-owned agricultural credit institutions. Since these specialised in subsidised credit, their interest in borrowing from the EIB waned with the phasing out of interest subsidies under the Third Financial Protocol. Furthermore, because of poor credit practice, by the early 1990s most faced serious financial difficulties and could no longer be regarded as suitable candidates for GL financing. Environmental and energy savings projects Own resource Global Loans have also been used to finance small scale projects aimed at pollution abatement in Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia. The achievement of the specific objectives of the GL for environmental projects was unusually low, which raises doubts as to the selection of the FI or the structuring of the loan. Only one operation for financing a small project leading to energy savings has been mounted in the region (in Turkey), probably given the fact that the rational use of energy has been a lower priority for most MED countries in recent years. 14

19 3 PERFORMANCE OF THE GLOBAL LOANS EVALUATED 3.1 Evaluation approach This evaluation considers Global Loans on own resources only, but there are close crosscutting links with the other instruments provided in the region, particularly Risk Capital. It is a part of an on-going evaluation of the EIB financing with own resources under the Mediterranean mandates, and complements the EU Commission s evaluation, 14 which covered the financial assistance to MPCs in the form of interest subsidies on EIB loans and risk capital operations. The main focus of the evaluation is the GL as a financial instrument, not the investments financed by the GL. However, a sample of sub-projects funded has been reviewed in order to assess whether the selection procedures used by the FIs ensure that sound and relevant projects were funded, and to estimate the value added of the GL to the final beneficiaries. The performance of a Global Loan has been evaluated using three main criteria and for each criterion the relevant internationally accepted evaluation criteria are indicated (Appendix 4 presents the definition of the evaluation criteria): Relevance of the operation: consistency on the one hand, in relation to the objectives of the EU mandates, EIB and, on the other, in relation to the national policies and beneficiaries requirements (relevance). Evaluation of the FI: organization, financial situation (mainly portfolio quality) and sustainability (efficacy, efficiency and sustainability). Evaluation of the EIB GL: Amounts disbursed versus initial expectations, quality of the projects financed; on-lending conditions and sustainability of the projects financed (efficacy, efficiency and sustainability). To ensure comparability, EV has prepared guidelines for assessing the different GLs (Appendix 2 presents the template use in the evaluation of each operation). The comparison of the ex-post results with the expectations and objectives at appraisal is used as the basis to evaluate the operation. An operation that has achieved and surpassed all its objectives will be rated good (efficacy), while the rating will be less than satisfactory if some or all the key objectives have not been achieved. In this evaluation of GLs operations, it has been possible to separate the relevance and sustainability criteria from the other criteria, but it was difficult to separate efficacy from efficiency, and thus these criteria are evaluated together. The evaluation of a FI compares the current situation of the FI with the situation at appraisal. It assesses the improvements in its organisation and in its financial situation. Concerning the organisation, it has been assessed whether it allows the selection of sound projects. We have not established explicit benchmarks 15 to evaluate the financial situation of the FI, such as minimum Return on Equity, for instance. This reflects the fact that the Bank does not apply explicit benchmarks at appraisal that could be used as a reference in the evaluation. 14 Eva-EU Association, Evaluation of financial assistance for the Mediterranean countries managed by the EIB on behalf of the EC. Final report May Evaluation Unit of the Joint Relex Service of the European Commission. 15 Depending on the operation, the financial situation was assessed by comparing the key financial ratios of the intermediary with similar institutions in the country. When there was not a reference financial institution, the rating reflected the financial situation in recent years and the trends of key ratios (improving or worsening). 15

20 Similarly, the evaluation of the EIB GL has taken as a basis the expectations and objectives of the GL defined at approval. In this respect the key criteria considered have been the following: The total amount disbursed in relation to initial expectations. Achievement of the specific objectives of the GL, such as whether the financing has gone to SME, sectoral priorities if any. The investment soundness of the sub-projects financed, including environmental and procurement aspects. Sustainability of the projects financed. In addition, the EIB value added and the management of the project cycle by the EIB has been evaluated. EIB value added covers the financial value added and the EIB contribution to the development of the FIs. EV selected a sample of ten Global Loans from the own resources GL signed in the period and substantially disbursed at the time of the evaluation. In selecting this sample account was taken of the need to ensure a reasonable spread of the operations evaluated both across sectors targeted and the countries 17 of the region. Five of the operations selected targeted SMEs and the other five aimed at financing small municipal infrastructures, environment, tourism, agriculture and combined heat and power stations. The operations selected were carried out in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon. The evaluation started in November 2003 and has been developed in three sequential phases: A general overview of EIB financing through GL under Mediterranean mandates and the operational framework set up by the EIB to develop this type of financing. Individual evaluation of the ten operations selected. Six evaluations included a visit to the FIs, a sample of sub-projects financed and meetings with other relevant parties (Central Banks, Delegations of the EU Commission in the country, other IFIs, relevant Ministries, etc.). The other four evaluations were based on desk review of the Bank s files. In all cases meeting were held with the operational staff responsible for the operation. Synthesis report, presenting the main findings of the previous phases and drawing conclusions and recommendations. The EV team carried out the first phase of the evaluation; while the external consultants carried out the second phase and prepared the first synthesis report. Based on this, EV produced the final report. 16 All the GL selected were signed in the period , except one GL targeting the agricultural sector that was signed in This is to include one GL of this type in the sample. 17 No operation in Israel could be selected for evaluation as none of the GLs in the period considered were substantially disbursed at the time of the evaluation. 16

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