A senior official at the European Investment Bank said that the EU’s lending arm will resist pressure to invest in the defense industry, though he suggested “dual-use” technology that aids civilian security remains worthwhile.
(Bloomberg) — A senior official at the European Investment Bank said that the EU’s lending arm will resist pressure to invest in the defense industry, though he suggested “dual-use” technology that aids civilian security remains worthwhile.
Speaking on the sidelines of a regional summit in Jakarta on Tuesday, EIB Vice President Kris Peeters said that there’s evidence that institutional investors are starting to turn away from the defense industry. He instead remains confident in the bank’s strategy to back systems that help Europe’s technology industry and civilian security infrastructure.
“We don’t finance ammunition and weapons systems, that is not our cup of tea,” Peeters said. “But we can do a lot in dual-use. When you look to the figures of last year they speak for themselves, and I am convinced that is for us the right way to go.”
The Netherlands called on the EIB earlier this year to invest in the defense industry while putting pressure on pension funds to finance the sector as the European Union struggles to supply Kyiv with sufficient artillery munitions.
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At the same time, Europe’s production of artillery ammunition is now on track to double as the region’s industry overcomes an initial struggle to ramp up output, Estonia’s defense chief said this week.
Citing recent studies, Peeters maintained that institutional investors such as pension funds and insurers are reducing their investments in the defense industry despite the demand for weapons and ammunition due to the war. Last year, the EIB launched the Strategic European Security Initiative to finance up to €6 billion ($6.4 billion) for eligible dual-use research until 2027.
Peeters said the EIB will continue to back such efforts.
“When you look at institutional investors, venture funds, they are not eager to buy our bonds, certainly not green bonds, if we we were to invest in ammunition and military equipment,” he said. “I think that we will stay in our position.”
–With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.
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