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EBRD newsletter - 29 October 2021

By EBRD  Press Office

A digest of recent news from the EBRD

The EBRD goes to COP26

The EBRD is participating in the COP26 climate conference, which will begin in Glasgow on Monday, to strengthen the international delivery of climate finance. EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, who will lead the Bank’s delegation, said: “We want to give our countries the confidence to be ambitious and brave in their net zero goals. The world needs climate action now. We have the capital, we know how to mobilise financing and we have the technical expertise to deliver crucial support. Countries that commit to the green transition – unparalleled in economic history for its speed and scale – will find the EBRD with them every step of the way.”

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference is key to delivering climate action, with countries expected to raise the ambition of their emission reduction commitments, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C. Together with other multilateral development banks (MDBs), the EBRD plays a leading role in helping to decarbonise economies and enable the green transition.

The EBRD brings two recent commitments of its own on enhancing its climate action. It will increase the proportion of its green investments to more than 50 per cent of the total by 2025. By 2023 is will align all its operations with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Bank will also seek to step up the mobilisation of the private sector.

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EBRD joins multilateral development banks to support just transition to net zero

The EBRD is joining other multilateral development banks (MDBs) in committing to a just transition that supports its countries of operation in moving towards net-zero emission economies. The banks released a joint statement outlining their commitment to five High-Level Principles for such a transition.

The statement outlines how the MDBs will support countries in moving away from the use of fossil fuels and toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilience in a way that shares the costs and benefits, while supporting and protecting communities, industries, and workers.

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EBRD welcomes Algeria as its latest shareholder

Algeria has become the 73rd shareholder of the EBRD by completing the membership process. Algeria applied for membership in March 2020 and the Bank’s Board of Governors subsequently voted in favour of the request. The membership process has now been completed with a formal exchange of documents.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying: “We are happy to welcome Algeria as our latest shareholder and look forward to working together and discussing the next steps of our joint cooperation, notably for Algeria to become a recipient of the Bank’s operations.”

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Brčko pledges to join EBRD’s Green Cities

The EBRD’s fast-expanding €3 billion urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities, is growing in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Brčko pledging to join the programme. A trigger investment is the planned construction of a main water transmission pipeline. It will regulate water pressure across the urban area and bring better quality water service to the city’s inhabitants, while reducing water losses and saving energy.

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Supporting corporate governance reform in North Macedonia

With the introduction of a new corporate governance code, the Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE) is taking another significant step towards the adoption of European standards on local capital markets.

The code applies to companies with shares listed on the official market of the MSE that meet the criteria set out in the listing rules. These companies will be required to report annually. As in other European countries with capital markets of a similar size and structure, North Macedonia’s new code applies an approach known as “comply or explain”.

The code was developed jointly by the MSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission of North Macedonia, with support from experts at the EBRD’s Legal Transition Team and financed by Luxembourg.

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Project signings and agreements

Ukraine’s Oschadbank takes a step towards pre-privatisation

The EBRD and Ukraine’s state savings institution Oschadbank have agreed to work together towards a pre-privatisation engagement that will help commercialise the lender, improve its corporate governance and attract a robust investor. Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and Serhii Naumov, CEO of Oschadbank, signed a mandate letter backed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance to this effect.

Mr Patrone commented: “This is an important step in our long term partnership with Oschadbank and Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance on the commercialisation and eventual privatisation path. It is also consistent with the EBRD’s broader partnership with the Ukrainian authorities in their reform agenda.”

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€4 million loan to Partner microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The EBRD is supporting green investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a €4 million loan to Partner Mikrokreditna Fondacija Tuzla (Partner) through the Bank’s Western Balkans Green Economy Financing Facility (WB GEFF II). Partner will lend the funds to borrowers in the residential sector – individuals, housing collectives, producers, vendors and service providers – to invest in the installation of high-performance green technologies, materials and solutions in privately-owned residential dwellings and buildings.

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Boosting competitiveness of small businesses in Serbia

A €5 million loan by the EBRD to Erste Bank Serbia will help local small businesses to increase their competitiveness by reaching best industry standards and implement European Union (EU) directives. The aim is to encourage SMEs to invest in upgrades in three key areas: environmental protection, health and safety and product quality.

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Accelerating trade-finance digitalisation with National Bank of Greece, TBC Bank and Nordea

The EBRD is stepping up its support for the digital transition of trade finance by facilitating test transactions between National Bank of Greece, TBC Bank in Georgia and Nordea on the digital trade platform. Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions said: “We are pleased to support the Preview Offering Program on for National Bank of Greece and TBC Bank and to facilitate their test transactions with Nordea. The EBRD is committed to supporting the digital transition in the regions where it invests. As the first multilateral development bank to set up support for trade finance in 1999, we are pleased to be at the forefront of innovation once again.”

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Replenishing the Taiwan Business – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund

We’ve signed a US$ 8 million replenishment of the Taiwan Business – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund. This generous support will contribute to transformative change across all EBRD regions.

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Supporting Moldova’s first blueberry producer

The EBRD, EU and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) are supporting Lolly Berry, the first blueberry producer in Moldova, with plans to increase production and expand the business to keep up with local demand.

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Supporting waste recycling company in Kosovo

Kosovo-based company Plastika accessed fresh finance through an EBRD programme, co-financed by the EU, which provides loans through local commercial banks. This allowed the company to invest in a new recycling line. The total loan from Banka Per Biznes (BPB) amounted to €600,000 and, on successful completion of the investment, the company received a grant of €90,000, funded by the EU.

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EBRD in the news

EBRD celebrates 15 years in Mongolia

Business New Europe published an interview this week with the EBRD’s Head of Mongolia, Hannes Takacs, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Bank’s operations in the country. He said: “The EBRD is glad to have contributed to the development of so many important projects in Mongolia. “The country is in a unique situation in terms of how its economy has expanded, thanks in large part to mining. And the EBRD has worked with local mining companies, to integrate sustainability in their operations. But for any country to succeed, it must have a diverse economy, and for the last 15 years, the EBRD is happy to have worked with local SMEs by providing loans as well as business guidance.” he added.

The EBRD on social media

The EBRD is going to COP26! Find out what COP26 is, and why we’re taking part.

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Our Harry Boyd-Carpenter on the importance of net zero commitments and how pleased we are that Kazakhstan and Turkey have made such commitments themselves.

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Our Jürgen Rigterink on his EU Sustainable Energy Week opening speech with Ursula von der Leyen.

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