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EBRD newsletter - Friday 18 June

By EBRD  Press Office

EBRD and partners promote digital trade

EBRD President visits Poland

In her first visit to Poland as head of the EBRD, President Odile Renaud-Basso reiterated the Bank’s commitment to the country and readiness to address its most urgent challenges. This is demonstrated by the fact that 73 per cent of the Bank’s new investments in Poland in 2020 were in the green transition. The President met government representatives, the leadership of the Central Bank and businesses, and she also used the opportunity to introduce Elisabetta Falcetti as new head of Poland from September onwards.

Read more here and here

EBRD President warns against dangers of climate change

In a keynote address this week, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso warned against the economic dangers associated with climate change and called for urgent action: “Simply scaling up our green financing will not be enough to address and overcome the challenge climate change presents the financial sector. We, as financial institutions, need to make our own institutions climate-resilient and do far more to support the low carbon and climate-resilient transition”, she said in a joint EBRD/ECB conference.

Read the full speech

EBRD and partners promote digital trade

Leading trade finance to its next step, the EBRD has facilitated two trial transactions between National Bank of Greece and Citi on the digital trade finance network Contour. National Bank of Greece acted as an issuing bank and Citi as a confirming bank when the lenders completed test digital letters of credit. Both banks are part of the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

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How green hydrogen could power tomorrow’s industry

The transformative power of green hydrogen is the vision inspiring the current generation of politicians and planners as they plan a decarbonised year 2050. Even if renewable electricity is at the centre of these plans, there remains a need for other fuels to power heavy industry. Hydrogen has the potential for decarbonising sectors, but there remains a long way to go. The EBRD’s Cristian Caretto explains: “A number of institutions including the International Energy Agency expect the level of hydrogen use to grow from 70 million tonnes to more than 500 million tonnes a year by 2050. This will not happen at once, of course. But it looks like it might at least double by 2030.”

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Project signings

Providing US$ 60 million to Kazakhstan’s Bank CenterCredit

In Kazakhstan, the EBRD is promoting green financing, lending to MSMEs and women entrepreneurs by providing a loan package of US$60 million in Kazakh Tenge equivalent to the country’s leading lender Bank CenterCredit (BCC).

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Funding boost for Ukrainian businesses as EBRD lends to Ukrgasbank

In Ukraine, the EBRD and the EU are providing new funds to MSMEs. The EBRD will lend the hryvnia equivalent of €25 million to Ukrgasbank, for loans to local companies to upgrade their processes and equipment and to advance sound health and safety practices.

Learn more here and here

Supporting tech-driven insurance company Hellas Direct

The EBRD is providing a mandatory convertible debt facility of €10 million to Hellas Direct Insurance Limited, a fast growing, tech-driven insurance company, to support its growth and provide the company with solvency capital. The debt facility is part of a larger financing round of €32 million.

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Investing US$ 50 million in green bond in Georgia

The EBRD has invested US$ 50 million in the first green bond issued by Georgian Railway (GR), the state-owned national railway company of Georgia, to be used to refinance GR’s existing notes, which are maturing in 2022.

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Investing in first green bond issued by Turkey’s QNB Finansbank

In Turkey, reinforcing its position as a leader in green finance and a strong supporter of capital markets, the EBRD invested US$ 50 million in a green bond issued by QNB Finansbank.

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Investing €20 million in Akropolis Group’s debut Eurobond issue

The EBRD subscribed to a €20 million ticket as part of a €300 million Eurobond issue by Akropolis Group, the first such issuance by a real-estate company in the Baltic states, to support the group’s expansion and refinance its existing debt.

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Start of works on Brcko port project

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, attended the launch of works in the Brcko port, together with the EU Ambassador and other donors in the country. Funded under the Western Balkans Investment Framework the project will consist of the reconstruction of the port and preparing it to become a major transport hub.

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The event was widely covered by local media. Read more here

Gender Equality in Montenegro

Jaap Sprey, Montenegro’s RO Head, spoke at an event "Gender Equality and Economic Empowerment of Women in Montenegro" organized by the Secretariat of the Competitiveness Council. Jaap highlighted the Bank’s projects to address gender gaps, including our Women in Business Programme and our support for the Competitiveness Council which has started to apply a gender lens to regulatory impact assessment. Other speakers included the Minister of Economic Development, Jakov Milatović and British Ambassador to Montenegro, Karen Maddox.

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Women-led businesses in the Western Balkans

We held a joint event with Sida where we listened to five gr inspirational stories of women-led businesses in Western Balkans and how we’ve helped them survive and flourish during the pandemic.

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EBRD Donors June newsletter

Pandemic-proof local food shopping in Montenegro, boosting Climate Action with new US$ 1 billion programme, modernising mineral-water production in BiH, and many more…

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EU Development Days

EBRD Vice President Pierre Heilbronn attended this week’s EU Development Days: "EBRD is a major actor in the climate field. Over last 30 years we’ve devoted powerful tools and showed a strong track record on climate finance."

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EBRD in the news

Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Director, Property and Tourism, talked to Fortune Greece about the future of tourism, "green" financing, the projects in progress and Greece’s bet on tourism.

Learn more (in Greek)

The production of green hydrogen from renewables could offer new opportunities for Turkey’s exports to Europe, Cristian Carraretto, associate director of Green Economy and Climate Action at EBRD told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

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The EBRD on social media

EBRD President visied Poland this week where she met Poland’s President and the CEO of the Warsaw Stock Exchange amongst many others.

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The President has also written a personal note on the upcoming Annual Meeting inviting guests to register for the event

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The Bank is supporting parts of North Africa as part of a new commitment with the G7 DFIs, the IFC, AfDB and the EIB to commit to total investment of $80bn in private sector development in Africa over next 5 years

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Our Anne Fossemalle is now Invest Europe Chair for 2021-2022.

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Brilliant news for the EBRD’s work in Chernobyl! The operational processing of spent nuclear fuel to the new ISF2 facility formally started last week.

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The Bank has announced its EBRD 2021 Annual Meeting and Business Forum’s discussion panels and some of the livestreamed events.

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The EBRD has published economic research on Covid-19’s impact on Ukraine’s tourism industry.

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