The sluggish economic outlook affected the growth plans and risk-taking of SMEs. Economic growth stagnated for the third year and business confidence was low. The low level of investments was a major concern.
Demand for SME financing was moderate and roughly at the same level as in the previous year. The total value of the projects for which financing was sought came to two billion euros. Demand focused on working capital more than in previous years. Loan repayments were deferred and there was much restructuring of financing.
The volume of SME financing granted by Finnvera totalled EUR 1,003 million; this is 21 per cent more than in 2013. Some of the increase was due to the rescheduling of financing granted previously. During the year, Finnvera was involved in the financing of 866 ownership arrangements (972); the total sum was EUR 87 million (108 million).
The situation between Russia and Ukraine caused uncertainty about exports to Russia, an important market for Finnish exporters. Banks were very cautious about financing Finnish companies’ transactions in Russia. In addition, the uncertain economic situation was reflected in the demand for guarantees in export financing, which declined by about 14 per cent on the previous year, totalling EUR 7,290 million (8,447 million). Demand for export credit financing also fell from the level in 2013.
In contrast, the amount of export credit guarantees and special guarantees offered rose by 51 per cent, to a total of EUR 5,034 million (3,327 million). The bulk of this, or 71 percent, was used for the export of capital goods to industrialised countries, 15 per cent to Latin America and 7 per cent to the Middle East and North Africa. Offers pertaining to the financing of export credits totalled EUR 2,829 million.
The value of export credit guarantees that came into effect rose 46 per cent on the previous year, to EUR 4,004 million (2,738 million). Guarantees come into effect when the export transactions have been concluded. Outstanding commitments were distributed among 87 countries. The largest individual commitments involved exports to the United States, Brazil and Germany. Among individual countries, the outstanding commitments for export credit guarantees associated with transactions to Germany showed the greatest increase.
Direct venture capital investments totalled EUR 16 million and initial investments EUR 3 million (5 million). There were 82 follow-on investments (66) totalling EUR 12 million (11 million).
|Summary by business area|
|Loans, domestic guarantees and export guarantees offered||Export credit guarantees offered||Total
1 Jan–31 Dec 2014
31 Dec 2014*
|Clients 31 Dec 2014|
|Locally operating small companies||116||0||116||327||18,179|
|SMEs focusing on the domestic markets||416||21||437||1,669||9,735|
|SMEs seeking growth through internationalisation||371||69||440||761||749|
|*Excluding impairment losses on loans and provisions.|