EBRD newsletter - Friday 05 February

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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EBRD President Renaud-Basso pays first ‘virtual visit’ to Georgia

Georgia was the setting for the first ‘virtual visit’ by EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso to one of the countries where the Bank invests. The visit took place on 1st and 2nd February in an entirely virtual format over a two-day programme.

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The country’s President and Prime Minister tweeted their appreciation of the visit. Major outlets in Georgia such as Business Media, Georgia Today, Messenger and Civil also shared news of it with their readers.

Uzbekistan joins global carbon neutrality race to 2050

The EBRD and the government of Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding on long-term collaboration toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. In collaboration with the Bank the central Asian republic has declared its intention to significantly cut its reliance on thermal energy sources. In an interview with the Nikkei news agency EBRD First Vice President Jürgen Rigterink underlined the Bank’s readiness to support Uzbekistan through a combination of investment and policy engagement and thanked the Japanese government for their donor support.

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Bloomberg interview draws strong response in Turkey

An interview by EBRD Managing Director, Turkey, Arvid Türkner, to Bloomberg HRT about the Bank’s activities in 2020 and the plans for this year was followed by a massive response from the business community. The EBRD’s programmes in support of small and medium-sized enterprises were in particularly high demand. Last year alone, the EBRD invested €`1.7 billion in Turkey, with 94 per cent of its financing in the private sector.

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EBRD and UNDP to pilot social impact bond in Armenia

To improve the lives of smallholder farmers in the Shirak region of north-western Armenia, the EBRD and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a letter of intent to structure a social impact bond, an innovative financing tool linking financial success to the delivery of measured social outcomes.

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Project signings

Supporting the resilience of the Tunisian energy sector

The EBRD is providing a €300 million financing package to Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG) to support the stability of Tunisia’s energy sector during the coronavirus pandemic and help STEG to implement an ambitious corporate and climate reform roadmap that would anchor the shift towards a more sustainable and efficiently run company.

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Promoting private-to-private solar energy in Jordan with Yellow Door Energy

In Jordan, EBRD, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Deutsche Entiwcklungsgesellschaft (DEG) are providing Yellow Door Energy,a leading sustainable energy provider for businesses, with a US$ 31.2 million loan in local currency for the development, construction and operation of a portfolio of eight solar photovoltaic plants.

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Boosting green investments in Turkey

In its first transaction with Turkey’s Is Finansal Kiralama A.S. (Is Leasing), the EBRD is providing a €40 million loan for on-lending to eligible companies to finance investments in resource efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects.

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Financing Turkish copper wire producer Mega Metal

In Turkey, the EBRD and Turkiye Sinai Kalkinma Bankasi (TSKB), the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey, are jointly providing a €4 million loan to Turkey’s leading producer of superfine copper rod Mega Metal San. ve Tic. A.S. to address working capital needs in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Strengthening Croatia’s resilience and green agenda

The EBRD is investing €9 million in bonds issued by Erste & Steiermärkische Bank d.d. in Croatia, as part of a €45 million issuance listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange and marketed mainly to local institutional investors. It is the EBRD’s first purchase of a bond eligible under the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) and issued by a local financial institution in Croatia.

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Supporting rehabilitation of Albanian railway

In Albania, the first large-scale overhaul of the railway network is ready to start with the signing of a first contract for rehabilitation works between the state railways and the Italian company INC Spa, with the support of an EBRD €36.9 million loan and an investment grant of up to €35.5 million from the EU under its “Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans”. An additional €2.75 million in grants from bilateral donors have been secured through the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

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Increasing support for small businesses in Moldova

In Moldova, the EBRD is providing a €15 million loan to ProCredit Bank to support MSMEs. The new financing, supported by EU funds, will help companies to become more competitive and seize new export opportunities.

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Strengthening the resilience of the Greek banking sector

The EBRD and Intrum Holding AB are investing in an unsecured non-performing exposure (NPE) portfolio originated by Piraeus Bank, one of the leading banking groups in Greece, to help it reduce its NPLs, clean up its balance sheets and free up capacity for new lending, thus strengthening its financial resilience. The EBRD’s investment is around €11 million.

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Strengthening support to small businesses in Georgia

In Georgia, backed by €1.8 million in EU funding, the EBRD will help local firms with their digital transformation to avoid interruptions to their operations because of the pandemic and rebuild their businesses with a focus on sustainable and green practices.

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Supporting microfinance in Tunisia

In Tunisia, Attijari Bank is extending a loan of up to TND 20 million to Enda Tamweel under the EBRD’s Risk Sharing Framework for on-lending to local micro and small businesses. These are its core customers and need financial support to cover liquidity shortages caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Donors

Boosting energy efficiency in Ukraine’s Dnipro

In the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, patients and medical staff at clinics as well as children attending kindergartens and schools are to enjoy better heating in their buildings thanks to an E5P fund grant of €5.5 million. The grant complements an earlier €25 million loan from the EBRD to the municipal energy management company Dniprovska Municipalna Energoservisna Kompanya.

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Helping Greek tyre company Meidanis-Sofos Elastika grow

Meidanis-Sofos Elastika S.A. is one of the most prominent tyre companies in Greece and the first to benefit from the EBRD’s advisory programme in the country. Supported by the European Union, through the European Investment Advisory Hub of the European Investment Bank, the Bank helped Meidanis develop a new business plan.

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Social media

Pierre Heilbronn, EBRD Vice President, Policy & Partnerships, took part in an OECD discussion on blended finance. He spoke about the importance of private sector funding in financing development.

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Barbara Rambousek, EBRD Director, Gender & Economic Inclusion, took part in a Gender Smart video conference on smart-gender green investments. “Tackling gender equality is key to addressing climate change”, she emphasised.

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Jim Turnbull, Deputy Director, Capital Markets Development, set out the Bank’s approach to additionality at an OECD event. “At its core, the EBRD invests in projects where it expects to earn a market-based return (sound banking), does not crowd out private sources of finance (additionality) and has measurable impact (transition). In this respect, EBRD is the very definition of an impact investor”, he said.

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The EBRD launched its 6th module of the Know How Academy focusing on trade.

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