A digest of recent news from the EBRD
President Chakrabarti: “EBRD is changing lives”
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti took stock of his eight years at the helm of the Bank in a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times and said: “When it comes to really changing people’s lives in development terms, the EBRD is where it is at.” He also urged the EU to make common cause with the UK on development policy after Brexit and portrayed the EBRD as a potential bridge between Brussels and London.
The EBRD and Turkey: the way forward
Addressing a virtual meeting held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) of Turkey, Suma Chakrabarti urged Turkish companies to turn the current coronavirus crisis into an opportunity: “In the new world we are now entering, companies will be putting considerable emphasis on resilience and diversification. Turkey, with its strong potential to significantly scale up exports, is one of the countries that stands to gain most from this new dynamic,”
Turkey’s Anadolu Agency quoted President Chakrabarti with an appeal for closer ties between Turkey and the EU, which “would benefit both parties".
EBRD delivers in Serbia
The EBRD scored a hat-trick of new signings in Serbia in the last week alone with a total amount of €175 million in credit lines extended to the local subsidiaries of UniCredit Bank, Erste Bank and ProCredit Bank. The financing will support local small businesses as the country seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The EBRD also retained its high-profile in Serbia with an opinion piece by Regional Director Zsuzsanna Hargitai in the Financial Times in which she said: “Serbia looks well placed to emerge strongly” from the coronavirus pandemic. Attracting further direct investment will require transparency and guaranteeing a level playing field, she argued.
Meanwhile, Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director, Energy, welcomed Serbia’s plan to move towards a sustainable low-carbon economy. “The mood is shifting towards a recognition that renewables can be competitive,” he told the Financial Times.
Warsaw joins EBRD Green Cities
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, has become the country’s first city to join EBRD Green Cities, the Bank’s flagship urban sustainability programme this week. The Bank and the city will work towards a greener future by investing in its public transit system and on a comprehensive strategy to improve environmental performance.
Egypt’s response to the crisis
In an interview with Enterprise Magazine, Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the SEMED region, said: “It’s critical to make sure that domestic investment and domestic demand remains strong. The Central Bank of Egypt has been giving banks liquidity to lend to SMEs, and government investments in vital infrastructure will form the base for a more resilient and faster economic rebound.”
Hannes Takacs new head of Mongolia
Associate Banker Hannes Takacs has been appointed new EBRD Head of Mongolia. He will start his new role on 14 July. On the same day Alex Pivovarsky will become Director for local currency and capital market development
EBRD publishes 2019 corporate reports
The EBRD published its Annual Review and its Financial Report for 2019 this week.
The Annual Review describes the impact of the EBRD’s investments, projects and policy work during the year, and outlines the EBRD’s innovation in key sectors and initiatives.
The Financial Report includes the approved and audited financial statements, as well as additional reporting and disclosures on the EBRD’s risk management, corporate governance and structure.
The Bank is arranging a US$130 million loan to Sodrugestvo Group (SG), an international agro-industrial conglomerate active throughout the EBRD regions, to boost cross-border cooperation and benefit local farmers, sourcing, transportation, processing and distribution of animal feed products.
A loan to the mobile payments provider TPAY MOBILE will increase the availability of cashless payments for customers who do not own a bank account or those without a credit card.
SMEs in Cyprus will benefit from export and import opportunities available through a trade finance limit increase from €50 million to €100 million provided by the Bank to Bank of Cyprus under the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme.
New podcast: Is technology in the era of Covid-19 a threat to democracy?
In this season’s last episode of the EBRD podcast Pocket Dilemmas, Jonathan Charles and Kerrie Law were joined by Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at LSE and Samuel Woolley, Professor at University of Texas at Austin, and discussed if technology in the era of Covid-19 is a threat to democracy.
Ponti, a manufacturer of textile products, is responding to the crisis by integrating online channels and social media marketing into their sales strategy with EBRD and EU support.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti announced on Twitter @ebrdsuma that he is leaving the EBRD on 02 July after 8 years as President.
A new special edition of the Vienna Initiative NPL Monitor H1 2020 discusses the potential implications of Covid-19 on the quality of banks’ loans portfolio in the central, eastern and south-eastern Europe and measures to mitigate potential new flows of NPLs resulting from the crisis.
Newly approved projects
In Egypt, the EBRD approved a loan of up to US$100 million to National Bank of Egypt for on-lending to SMEs facing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
In Kosovo, the EBRD approved a loan of US$2 million to the microfinance institution AFK for on-lending to MSMEs, reaching out to more remote regions of the country.
In North Macedonia, the Bank will further support efforts by local companies to improve their competiveness in cooperation with the EU with a €5 million credit line to NLB Banka Skopje.
The EBRD approved a loan of up to US$100 million to Commercial Bank International in Egypt to help corporates and SMEs with the challenges following the coronavirus pandemic.
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|15 June||Belarus||Sodrugestvo Belarus||US$ 130 million loan for working capital needs||Agribusiness||Approved|
|15 June||Egypt||National Bank of Egypt||US$ 100 million loan for on-lending to SMEs||Financial Institutions||Approved|
|15 June||Kosovo||Microfinance institution AFK||€2.0 million loan for MSME on-lending||Financial Institutions||Approved|
|17 June||North Macedonia||NLB Banka Skopje||€5.0 million loan under Competitiveness Support Programme||Financial Institutions||Approved|
|18 June||Egypt||Commercial International Bank||US$ 100 million loan for on-lending to SMEs||Financial Institutions||Approved|