In the Annual Budget, Parliament sets the maximum amount of loans and guarantees the Government may grant that year. The Government may grant a loan or a guarantee to a public institution, a local government, a state-owned enterprise or a state foundation. All loans and state guarantees to foreign institutions and other states must be approved by Parliament.
The State’s long-term policy has been to give loans and guarantees to State-owned companies and local governments only in exceptional circumstances, for instance when banks are only prepared to offer loans on excessively onerous terms and conditions or when they will not offer loans at all. Moreover, when making loans or giving guarantees to State-owned companies, the Government must be mindful of the EU rules about giving State aid.
There has for several years been tough competition among banks in the local loan market. As a result, State-owned companies and local governments have been and continue to be able to secure funding on reasonably favourable terms and conditions. Of course, the State is ready to give loans during crisis situations whereby funding by banks is no longer available on reasonable terms. For example, the Government gave loans to the Port of Tallinn and the Tallinn University of Technology in 2009. Both loans were prepaid in 2010, when local banks lending appetite returned.
The Government has given a small number of loans and guarantees to State-owned foundations for large investment projects in order to make efficient use of EU grants and also granted overdraft facilities to those State-owned foundations that use the e-State-Treasury system for their daily cash management.
The Government does not give subsidised loans. The interest rate of a loan cannot be lower than the Government itself would pay for a similar loan, and an additional margin must be added to the Government’s estimated funding cost. The maximum term of loans and guarantees granted by the Government is 30 years. The State Treasury analyses each loan and guarantee application thoroughly and monitors loan and guarantee agreements carefully.
Outstanding loan amounts granted by the Government and loan amounts guaranteed by the Government are shown in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively.
Table 1: Outstanding loan amounts granted by the Government as of 31 December 2018
|Borrower||Outstanding loan amounts, in million euros||Final maturity|
|Environmental Investment Centre||67.4||2037|
|Overdraft facilities (three loans)||11.0||2020|
Table 2: Outstanding loan amounts guaranteed by the Government as of 31 December 2018
|Creditor||Borrower||Outstanding loan amounts, in million euros||Final maturity|
|EIB||North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH)||41.1||2035|
List of loans and guarantees granted since 2003 (23.1 KB, PDF)
Note: Loans to Estonian Air Ltd given by the Government during 2012 to 2014 are not included in the list as these loans were funded by the Ownership Reform Reserve Fund (not regulated in the State Budget Act).