SG Finans, the Norwegian unit of Societe Generale Equipment Finance’s (SGEF) has received NOK 1.73bn (€180m) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support green investment by SMEs in the country.
70% of the wholesale funding line has been earmarked for investment in climate-friendly transport. In its first transaction, the funding line will support the acquisition of 17 Volvo electric buses by Norgesbuss, a transport operator in Oslo and the south of Norway.
Hans Einar Herzog, deputy chief executive at SG Finans, said: “We finance projects right at the heart of the Scandinavian economy and are well positioned to advice and support our 50,000 clients in their transition to a greener future.
“Financing the shift to a low carbon economy is a momentous task and Societe Generale Group is committed to supporting its clients make the transformation to tomorrow’s world. We share the EIB’s objectives and are glad to include this important collaboration in our [offering].”
EIB vice president Andrew McDowell added: ““It’s a pleasure to see how EIB financing is helping Norgesbuss shift to low-carbon sustainable models of transportation. Our support for SMEs in this facility helps both the environment and the Norwegian economy. The EIB, as the EU Bank, is happy to work alongside SG Finans in achieving our ambitious climate action targets.”
Norway, a global leader in green investment, has attracted the interest of lessors both for its business potentials and as a hub to spearhead investment in the Scandinavian region. SGEF rival BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions wants to use the acquisition of Norwegian lessor Landkreditt Finans to coordinate expansion in the Nordics’ market, under the leadership of former director of strategy and development Fabrice Perret.