EBRD launches new Financial Institutions Framework in Poland

By Axel  Reiserer

The EBRD is launching a new framework aiming at supporting the debt capital market in Poland. The Financial Institutions Debt Capital Market Framework will have a volume of up to €250 million for investments in medium to long-term senior bonds and structured finance products issued by banks and non-bank financial institutions in the next three years.

As a first project under the framework the EBRD will support the issuance of senior unsecured bonds by Bank Zachodni WBK S.A. on the debt capital market by acquiring up to 20 per cent of the bonds for PLN 100 million (approximately €24 million).

The aim of the framework is to contribute to the development of the Polish corporate bond market, support the diversification of medium term funding sources of participating financial institutions and improve the maturity structure of their balance sheets. This in turn is expected to improve the availability of finance to the real economy.

After a merger with Kredyt Bank, today Bank Zachodni WBK is the third largest bank in Poland. The EBRD has provided loans and equity to the bank since 1993, most recently by investing into shares to support the merger. Majority owner is Banco Santander S.A. of Spain which owns a 70 per cent-stake.

Lucyna Stańczak, EBRD Director for Poland, said: “The new framework represents a major step forward in the implementation of our local currency and capital markets strategy. It enables us to contribute to building a critical mass of capital market instruments and to have a broader market development impact. We are especially pleased that the first sub-project under the new framework is being signed with Bank Zachodni WBK, with whom we have such a long-standing and close relationship.”

Eamonn Crowley, Chief Financial Officer of Bank Zachodni WBK added: ”The EBRD’s participation in the recent PLN bond issuance is a continuation of the successful relationship which both banks have been enjoying for many years. We welcome the investment and we are glad to be one of the first Polish banks to have cooperated with the EBRD in the strengthening of the Polish corporate debt market. The issuance highlights and supports Bank Zachodni WBK SA’s strong position in Poland.”

Since the beginning of its operations in Poland, the EBRD has invested nearly €6.5 billion in over 300 projects in the country for a combined project value of over €33 billion. The Bank provides support to the financial sector, to enterprise restructuring, modernisation and privatisation, infrastructure development and to the power and energy sector, where it is a leading investor in renewables.