EBRD newsletter 23 April

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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EBRD President pays first visit to Egypt

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso visited Egypt in person for the first time since taking office for high-level meetings with the authorities and the business community. She met the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of International Cooperation and EBRD Governor, Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, among other key political figures. Supporting Egypt’s transition to a green economy, Ms Renaud-Basso signed agreements targeting development of sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy in the country.

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Supporting Egypt’s largest private solar plant Kom Ombo

During the President’s visit the EBRD – in cooperation with the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Arab Bank signed a US$ 114 million financing package with ACWA Power for the construction of the country’s largest private solar plant, Kom Ombo. The plant will add 200 MW of energy capacity, increasing the share of renewable energy in Egypt’s energy mix and promoting private-sector participation in the power sector.

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EBRD Green Cities programme welcomes Egypt’s 6th of October City

Another highlight during the President’s visit was the signing of an agreement for 6th of October City, the country’s new city planning entity, to join Cairo and Alexandria as a member of the Bank’s flagship urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities.

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“Robust buffers helped achieve positive outcome”

The President’s visit attracted very high media interest. She spoke to, among others, Sky News Arabiya, CNBC, CBC Extra, Channel1 and Bloomberg Asharq and Enterprise. TV channel DMC reported after the meeting with President El-Sisi and Channel 1 on the meeting with Prime Minister Madbouli. In an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly President Renaud-Basso expressed confidence in Egypt’s economic potential. “Our economic growth forecast for Egypt is positive for 2021 and 2022 thanks to the economic and structural reforms it has adopted, which backed its navigation through the crisis and gave it robust buffers that helped it in achieving a positive outcome.”

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Promoting urban regeneration in Zagreb

In Croatia the EBRD made the news this week by publicly announcing its support for an initiative for the urban regeneration of a vital area of Zagreb, the country’s capital. Overall, the plan could attract investment of up to around €1.6 billion over 15 years, a study found. Victoria Zinchuk, EBRD Director, Croatia, said: “Now is the time to move forward and advance plans to unleash the country’s specific potential.” Urban regeneration in Croatia is also supported by Austria’s CREATE Fund.

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The philosophy of water and a greener future

As the world marked Earth Day on Thursday, the EBRD published its approach to husbanding and preserving the planet’s natural capital assets, including its simplest and most important resource – water, the source of life – as part of the global finance community’s ever-broadening remit to tackle climate change.

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Marking Earth Day in Serbia

In an interview with the Serbian weekly Nedeljnik” published in a special supplement for Earth Day, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, Regional Director for Western Balkans, spoke about EBRD investments in Serbia, focussing on energy sector and energy efficiency.

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EBRD commits to Ukraine

In an interview with BBC News Ukraine, EBRD Managing Director Matteo Patrone emphasised the Bank’s support for Ukraine. The Bank was standing by its commitments as the country was implementing new reforms to unleash its potential. Mr Patrone said: “Ukraine has many valuable resources, but its most important and precious asset is its human capital.”

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Chernobyl: The next phase

Thirty-five years after the accident on 26 April 1986 Chernobyl is still as well-known as it was a generation ago. The EBRD remains a key partner in the efforts of making the site safe. Following a request by Ukraine, in November 2020, the Bank established the new International Chernobyl Co-Operation Account, aimed at creating an integrated plan for the site to serve as the basis for developing and implementing longer-term projects. The new fund will hold its first assembly meeting on Tuesday.

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Project signings

Supporting Ukraine’s Datagroup

In Ukraine, the EBRD is providing a local currency loan equivalent to $65 million to Datagroup, a leading digital services provider in the country. This loan will primarily finance the acquisition of Volia, a pay-TV and cable broadband service provider, to help build a stronger, more competitive telecommunications operator with improved quality of service and an expanded product range.

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Backing small businesses in Ukraine via Crédit Agricole

In Ukraine, Crédit Agricole Bank Ukraine will be able to increase the competitiveness of local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, thanks to an EBRD loan of €25 million. The loan is backed by grant funding from the European Union (EU) under its EU4Business initiative.

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Investing €30 million in Slovak inaugural green bond

In the Slovak Republic, the EBRD has supported the country’s first green bond issuance with a €30 million investment in the senior preferred paper. The total volume issued by Tatra banka, a leading local lender, was €300 million. The Bank’s investment demonstrates its commitment to promoting green financing market development in the country.

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EBRD supports private operator of Sofia airport

In Bulgaria, the EBRD is backing the transformation of Sofia Airport through a €50 million loan and advisory services. The airport is set to become a modern and competitive European hub and will be operated by a joint venture between the France-based infrastructure-focused equity firm Meridiam, Munich Airport and the Austrian construction company Strabag

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Introducing First Bus Rapid Transit system in Western Balkans

In North Macedonia, Skopje will become the first city in the Western Balkans to introduce a Bus Rapid Transit system, thanks to the EBRD loan of €70 million under the Green City Action Plan. These funds will support a major transformation towards sustainable transport and address urgent environmental needs in the country’s capital. The news was widely covered in local media.

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Boosting Tajik economy with a $4 million package to Arvand Bank

In Tajikistan, the EBRD teamed up with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support small private-sector companies, which invest in green technology solutions, and to create new opportunities for women-led small businesses. A financial package of US$4 million organised by the EBRD will be provided to Arvand Bank, which is serving almost 100,000 clients through 72 branches and customer service outlets across the country.

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Social media

We continued to highlight our 30th anniversary, showing off the beautiful cakes baked by our colleagues…

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…and shared the story of our logo and how it was created.

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For the past 30 years, the EBRD has built some huge megastructures, which help millions of people in their everyday lives.

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On Earth Day, the EBRD focused on water, our source of life.

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