The EBRD is providing up to 280 million roubles to NBD Bank, the second biggest bank in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region, for on-lending to small businesses. The aim is to finance a more rational use of energy by local firms and thus increase their industrial competitiveness.
With this loan, this privately owned, medium-sized bank is the first in Russia’s regions to participate in a US$ 300 million programme launched by the EBRD and targeted at Russian lenders to promote energy efficiency.
A five-year loan has been agreed under the framework of the EBRD’s Russian Sustainable Energy and Carbon Finance Facility (RUSEFF). Rising energy prices have increased the importance to business of saving energy, especially in such an energy-intensive economy as Russia’s.
NBD Bank clients that borrow under this facility will benefit from free energy audits and the support of specialised RUSEFF consultants for the appraisal and development of energy efficiency projects.
The EBRD was the first international financial institution (IFI) to establish a specialised energy efficiency team in 1994 and has since accumulated valuable expertise in innovative energy efficiency and climate change mitigation financing.
In May 2006 the EBRD launched its Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) with a focus on energy efficiency. Since then the EBRD’s energy efficiency-related investments in Russia alone have amounted to €1.86 billion.
NBD Bank was founded in 1992 and has carved out a strong market share in lending to regional micro, small and medium-sized businesses. It is the second largest Nizhny Novgorod-based bank as measured by assets. It has been an EBRD partner since 1994 and the EBRD holds a blocking minority stake in the bank.
Nizhny Novgord, a key industrial centre 400 km east of Moscow, has a population of 1.25 million.