State credit agency KredEx made a total of €475 million available to Estonian companies in 2020, a fourfold increase on the previous year at a time when the coronavirus pandemic was making its effects known.
KredEx issued its annual report where it noted the increase in monies issued – up from €117 million in 2019 – and said that its volumes rose in all areas of its activities, including new surety and loan services drawn up due to the pandemic.
KredEx's largest sums went to shipping line Tallink (€100 million), fuel company Alexela (€37 million) and real estate project Porto Franco – which at nearly €40 million proved the most controversial deal.
KredEx is likely to see its function merged with that of Enterprise Estonia in the near future, public administration minister Jaak Aab (Center) has said.
In 2020, €76.7 million in standard measures were issued, up by €14.7 million on the previous year, though loan volumes via this route actually fell by €800,000, to €1.8 million, BNS reports.
A total of 501 firms of all sizes received €370 million in 2020, compared with €64.6 million granted to 411 firms the previous year.
Ivo Kuldmäe, KredEx board chair, said: "In addition, €56.6 million in concessional extraordinary guarantees and €236.9 million in direct loans were issued to companies to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic."
Housing loans were also issued last year, including for apartment refurbishment, Kuldmäe noted.
Meanwhile, the corporate loan portfolio grew from a little under €15 million at the end of 2019 to over €192 million a year later, while the guarantee portfolio grew from €101.2 million to €165.7 million over the same period.
Kredex's business loan and guarantee portfolio includes more than 1,000 companies nationwide, BNS reports.
Housing loans grew €5 million to €40.1 million, and every fourth home loan in the country is currently guaranteed by KredEx, the organization says.
The organization's credit insurance wing, Kredex Krediidikindlustus, saw its insured revenue increased by 10 percent in 2020, reaching over €700 million , €450 million of which was related to export, which increased by 15.7 percent compared to the previous year.
It is estimated that Kredex Krediidikindlustus insured 3 percent of the export revenue of Estonian companies.
At the end of the year, the risk of insolvency of 4,666 buyers was insured and there were 68 countries where buyers were located.
Kredex's subsidiary SmartCap held 69.4 million in assets at the end of the year, while in January 2020, Kredex's Startup Estonia program published a database aimed at bringing together such companies from different fields of activity across the country.
Editor: Andrew Whyte