EBRD newsletter - Friday 30 April

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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EBRD “baby” UiPath smashes Wall Street

The Romanian software company UiPath broke records this week with the most successful listing on the New York Stock since Spotify, according to the Economist. UiPath managed to raise $1.3bn in an initial public offering. This valued it at around $30bn. When first plans for the company were made in a living room in Bucharest in 2015 and the founders needed capital the EBRD stood ready to offer its support through the Earlybird Digital East Fund.

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New Chernobyl support fund heralds next steps in decommissioning

As the world commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident this week, a new EBRD-managed decommissioning fund held its first assembly meeting. EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso and Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opened the meeting of the International Chernobyl Co-Operation Account (ICCA) assembly with a joint declaration pledging continued support for the decommissioning of the site.

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A major step towards this goal was also taken this week when the Ukrainian regulator granted an operating license to the Interim Spent Fuel Facility 2 (ISF-2). It will provide safe and secure storage for the more than 21,000 spent fuel assemblies of Chernobyl reactors 1, 2 and 3, currently stored in an ageing facility.

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Spearheading the climate change revolution

Combatting climate change and implementing Paris Alignment is not an option, but a must, said EBRD First Vice President Jürgen Rigterink in a keynote speech at the Energy Tech Summit 2021 this week. He stressed the Bank’s commitment to play a leading role in addressing climate change with supporting innovation, finding market-compatible solutions and mobilising the private sector.

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EBRD and Croatian National Bank joining forces on green finance

The financial sector has a vital role to play in addressing climate change by mobilising financing and appraising climate risk, the EBRD and the Croatian National Bank stated at a joint conference. Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, said: The entire financial sector must have an aligned approach to financing the needs of the real economy if we are to have any hope of achieving a net-zero-carbon world by 2050.” Governor Boris Vujčić added: “Banks could have a pronounced positive influence if they were to finance environmentally friendly projects and make green investments.”

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EBRD wins award for green transition bond

The EBRD’s pioneering work in green transition bonds has been recognised with a 2020 Climate Bonds Award by the Climate Bonds Initiative. Isabelle Laurent, EBRD Deputy Treasurer and Head of Funding, said: "We are delighted to receive the award for Transition Bond of the Year. Through the green transition bond programme that we introduced in 2019 we have been keen to highlight the importance that the EBRD places on investments in the hard-to-abate sectors that will be critical to achieving the Paris Agreement goals.”

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EBRD and JICA to cooperate on projects across three continents

The EBRD and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are planning to scale up investments in sustainable energy and infrastructure, as well as in sectors identified in the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of their operations in countries where they both are active. An agreement to support economic and social development in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, and North Africa was signed by EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux and JICA Senior Vice President Keiichiro Nakazawa this week. It will help combine both the private sector expertise and the public sector mandate of both parties.

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EBRD welcomes compliance review of Corridor Vc section

The Independent Project Accountability Mechanism of the EBRD has recommended a compliance review of the Mostar South – Tunnel Kvanj section of the Corridor Vc motorway project in Bosnia and Herzegovina following a request by local residents to determine if the Bank has complied with its environmental and social policies in relation to the project. The Bank’s management welcomed the recommendation and offered its full support. In an interview with the local news portal Blesjak EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Manuela Naessl, set out why the motorway is of vital importance for the country.

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Latvia concludes review of debt-restructuring environment

Addressing the key issue of improving the insolvency framework and tackling debt restructuring, Latvia’s Ministry of Justice has completed an 18-month project financed by the EU through the Structural Reform Support Programme and implemented by the EBRD. A key outcome of the project is a set of new guidelines to helps owners and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises to identify and address financial difficulties in a practical and timely manner.

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Read the guidelines

EBRD assists Bulgaria’s energy and water sector

The EBRD successfully completed a technical assistance project to strengthen Bulgaria’s Energy and Water Regulatory Commission by enhancing the regulator’s analytical and technical capacity. The project equipped the EWRC with the skills and tools to exercise its duties and paved the way to a fully liberalised energy market.

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Project signings

Innova Capital acquires Romania’s PayPoint with EBRD backing

In Romania, the EBRD has arranged a loan of €25 million to finance private equity firm Innova Capital’s acquisition of PayPoint SRL, a payment services operator in the country. A €6 million tranche of the loan was syndicated to a local commercial lender.

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Boosting Turkey’s soft drinks producer Uludag

Uludag, one of Turkey’s leading beverage producers, will expand its operations with a €15 million loan from the EBRD to finance research and development investments that will enhance its competitiveness at home and abroad.

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Helping modernise electricity network in Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, the EBRD and the EU are improving the sustainability and efficiency of the energy sector by financing power-distribution grid upgrades in the Khatlon region of the country with a financing package of €35 million to Shabakahoi Taksimoti Bark (STB), a state-owned power utility responsible for electricity distribution in Tajikistan. The funds will be used for the modernisation of the power distribution networks in the cities of Kulob and Bokhtar and in adjacent territories. The financing will also help introducing billing and metering infrastructure and upgrade STB’s workshops.

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EBRD invests €67 million in VGP NV green bonds

The EBRD successfully subscribed to a €67 million ticket as part of an inaugural eight-year €600 million green bond issuance by VGP NV, a pan-European provider of high-quality logistics and semi-industrial real estate. The funds will support the development of sustainable semi-industrial and logistics parks in Hungary, Latvia, Romania and the Slovak Republic.

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Mytilineos green Eurobond issuance

In Greece, the EBRD participated in the first green Eurobond issuance by the industrial and energy group Mytilineos SA to finance eligible green projects with clear environmental benefits with an investment of €60 million of the total €500 million offering.

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Funding for Moldovan businesses via Mobiasbanca-OTP Group

In Moldova, the EBRD and the EU are releasing new funds to support micro and small enterprises with a €15 million loan to Mobiasbanca - OTP Group for on-lending to local companies. The EBRD funds will be used for upgrades of processes and equipment and to advance sound health and safety practices. For successful investment projects, borrowers are eligible to receive grant incentives and technical assistance funded by the EU under its EU4Business initiative.

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Helping leather hide producer in Azerbaijan to grow

In Azerbaijan, the EBRD is extending a US$ 2 million loan to RER Modern Hides LLC, one of the largest producers and exporters of semi-finished and finished leather hides in the country to let the company launch a modern production facility to improve the quality of manufactured semi-finished and finished leather hides and expand the product range, with the goal of reaching a wider customer base and export markets.

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Donors

Supporting online fashion in Jordan

The Jordan-based entrepreneur Saeed Omar created a unique online fashion app called Makesy that allows shoppers to create customisable, made-to-order clothing designs. They are manufactured by his company SitatByoot. Omar benefited from the EBRD’s Star Venture programme, funded by the European Union and the Republic of Korea through the EBRD’s Small Business Impact Fund.

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New contribution from TaiwanICDF

The EBRD’s longstanding partner TaiwanICDF – International Cooperation and Development Fund announced a new donor contribution. The funds will catalyse green investments and help the Bank address environmental challenges. TaiwanICDF’s contribution sends a positive signal in the run up to COP26.

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EBRD in the news

Serbia

EBRD’s Jelena Čelenković, Bojan Bogdanović, Meran Lukić, Jelena Čeperković and Francesco Corbo spoke to eKapija about the Bank’s work in Serbia.

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Central Asia

EBRD Director, Head of Energy Eurasia MEA,SIG, Aida Sitdikova spoke to the Banker on Central Asia’s dependence on oil and gas and how the region is turning towards renewable projects.

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Uzbekistan

Bne Intellinews reported on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Uzbekistan and the EBRD to achieve carbon neutrality in the Uzbek energy sector by 2050.

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Egypt

The local media followed up on the recent visit by EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso. In an interview with Sky News Arabiya she spoke about the Bank’s investments in Egypt and the aim to increase support to the Egyptian private sector in addition to projects supporting the transition towards a green economy. In an interview with Bloomberg Asharq she talked about the global economic recovery and investments in the south and eastern Mediterranean region with a focus on Egypt.

The EBRD on social media

The Bank announced its 2021 Annual Meeting interactive programme with a short video of smiling speakers:

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The Bank highlighted its speakers for the 2021 Annual Meeting -

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The Bank supported the return of the EBRD Cultural Programme with the announcement of the Humorist movie night and were contacted by the lead actor Alexey Agranovich!

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The Bank looked back to 1990s fashion in the year of our 30th anniversary

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The EBRD marked the #Chernobyl35 anniversary with an incredible video from the site…

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…and galleries of recent images.

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