EBRD newsletter - Friday 27 November

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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Cyprus

Paradisiotis is one of the small businesses the EBRD has supported in Cyprus.

EBRD brings successful Cyprus mission to a close

After six years of investments totalling approximately €600 million, the EBRD’s engagement in Cyprus is coming to an end. As the Bank’s mandate expires at the end of 2020 it will stop investing in any new projects on the island, but continue to manage its portfolio. In an interview with the Cyprus Mail, EBRD Regional Head Andreea Moraru said: “We are very proud to have supported the recovery and resilience of the Cypriot economy.” The Reuters news agency also reported.

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Read more here and here

The EBRD has helped more than 400 small and medium-sized enterprises in the southern part of Cyprus to grow: more than 100 through advisory projects, and 300 through training and coaching programmes.

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Andreea Moraru shares her thoughts about the Bank’s work on the island.

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New financing for “Peace Highway” in Serbia

The so-called “Peace Highway” connecting Serbia and Kosovo will make further progress thanks to a loan of up to €85 million from the EBRD. The loan will finance the construction of a 39-km section between the cities Niš and Pločnik in the south of Serbia. The open competitive tender for procurement of works is expected to be launched in December, as EBRD Regional Director Zsuzsanna Hargitai announced. The Brussels newsletter Euractiv and the SEENews news agency reported on the story

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Read more here and here

FVP Rigterink: How the EBRD supports the recovery

In an article for The International Banker EBRD First Vice President Jürgen Rigterink set out how the EBRD has stepped up its support for its countries of operations to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and bolster the recovery. “The Bank will continue to address long-standing challenges to build a more resilient and sustainable future. The EBRD is convinced that there is no hard and fast distinction between crisis response and long-term recovery”, he wrote.

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New Chernobyl video marks historic milestone

The first waste canister containing highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from the  Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been successfully processed and will now be safely stored for at least a 100 years. A new video marks this important milestone which represents the culmination of more than 20 years of work at the plant.

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EBRD’s renewable energy investments surge ahead

In Poland, which is now on the road to change from a decades-long reliance on coal for nearly 80 per cent of its electricity, the EBRD this year to date has signed five different financing arrangements to build plants that will generate millions of MWh of clean electricity for the country.

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EBRD’s renewable investments in Poland were widely reported in the media, including the weekly newspaper New Europe.

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Project signings

Supporting the expansion of Warsaw metro

The citizens of Warsaw will benefit from the expansion of its metro network – a project that the EBRD and ING Bank are supporting by co-financing the acquisition of up to 45 new railcars with a loan of PLN 392.5 million (€87.6 million). With this project Warsaw is the first city in Poland to join the environmental initiative EBRD Green Cities as well as taking part in the climate leadership group C40.

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The city’s Green City Action Plan, outlining the low-carbon and climate resilience development pathway for Warsaw, is supported with donor funds from Poland and the TaiwanBusiness – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund.

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Supporting WKN wind parks in Poland

The EBRD is supporting the expansion of green energy and green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in Poland with a local currency loan of PLN 173 million (€39 million equivalent) to finance two new wind farms with a combined capacity of 59 MW.

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Working capital loan for Romanian steelmaker Donalam

In Romania, steelmaker Donalam is planning to bridge a potential working capital gap with a €5 million loan from the EBRD. The signing was widely reported in local media.

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Boosting support for businesses in Moldova

In Moldova, the EBRD and the EU are providing new finance under the EU4Business programme for SMEs with a €17.5 million loan to Moldova Agroindbank (MAIB) to offer access to finance to this critical business segment.

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Improving connectivity in Montenegro

The EBRD is providing a €26 million sovereign loan for the reconstruction and upgrade of the road section between the municipalities of Berane and Kolasin in the north of Montenegro.

The project will considerably shorten travel time between the two cities and improve connectivity in Montenegro’s less developed regions.

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Supporting small businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from a €1 million EBRD loan to Sparkasse Leasing BiH. Sub-loans will be available for investments in vehicles and equipment that meet EU standards. The financing is part of the European Union-supported SME Competitiveness Support Programme for the Western Balkans.

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Donor projects

Romanian retailers are ready for the start of the holiday shopping season

This is how the EBRD has helped small businesses go online through the pilot #WeSellOnline initiative, supported by the European Investment Advisory Hub, using funds provided by the European Union.

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EBRD and EU advance honey producer’s development in Moldova

The Moldovan honey producer Regina Naturii brings traditional beekeeping and state-of-the-art processing closer together. Together with the EU, the EBRD has helped the company scale up to new heights by refining production and embracing solar energy. New investments have increased volumes and made production processes more efficient.

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EBRD in the news

Vice President Pierre Heilbronn spoke to the Polish daily Gazeta Prawna about capital markets development in the EBRD regions and the Bank’s support. He confirmed the EBRD’s positive view of the planned takeover of the Armenia Stock Exchange by the Warsaw Stock Exchange and said: “It is a real pleasure for us to see this development and be part of the announcement.”

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Bloomberg Quint published an article about the possible end of the low-debt era for eastern Europe following the Covid-19 crisis with comments by EBRD Chief Economist Beata Javorcik. She warns: “If we’re facing a once-in-50-years shock, we should be repaying these debts over 50 years. We’ve learnt after the financial crisis that premature austerity will backfire.”

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Chief Economist Beata Javorcik also presented the latest EBRD Transition Report in a virtual presentation at the European Investment Bank this week. The roll-out continues with presentations at the Bruegel think tank on 1 December and at the European Central Bank on the following day.

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In an interview with Egypt’s Ahram Online, SEMED Managing Director Heike Harmgart, set out the EBRD’s plans for the region. “Egypt is an important partner of the EBRD in achieving our new strategic goals. For the green area, for instance, we see impulses from the government that are in this direction.”

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Together with the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the EBRD started to look for international investors interested in building a 300-bed hospital in Kazakhstan’s Almaty.

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Environment & Sustainability Managing Director Alistair Clark discussed the dangers of antimicrobial resistance in the times of Covid-19.

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The EBRD marked a day to draw attention to gender-based violence #GenderEqualWorld, especially pertinent during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Lead Economist Biljana Radonijc Ker-Lindsay held a live Twitter Q&A on skills access in Asia on TVETChat

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EBRD celebrates Green Week

The EBRD continued to celebrate its Green Week with President Odile Renaud-Basso leading the charge to plant an “EBRD tree”.

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The #EBRDtree hashtag attracted some inspiring challenges on Twitter.

See it here, watch how to plant a tree video and EBRD Green Tips video

Learn how to plant a tree using app in Montenegro with EBRD’s Cecilia Calatrava

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EBRD Literature Prize 2021: submission deadline approaches

The EBRD announced that the deadline for submissions to the prestigious EBRD Literature Prize 2021 had been extended to 30 November 2020.

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