EBRD newsletter - Friday 8 October 2021

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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The EBRD as a green pioneer

Looking ahead to the COP26 climate conference in November, the EBRD this week published stories, videos and social media posts presenting the Bank’s work on the Green Transition to a wider audience. With its private sector mandate, the EBRD can make a unique contribution as an investor. But its approach combining investments with policy engagement also allows it to create the framework to successfully address climate change. In this, donors play a crucial role.

Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Managing Director, Green Economy and Climate Action, said: “Two things are needed: First, a reliable policy framework and second a signal to investors that gives them confidence. Once this in place you need the private sector for the money, but also for the human resources, the ingenuity and the innovation. When you have well-structured competition, and all these private sector operators moving in trying to win bids, the price just goes through the floor – there’s no central state-owned utility that can match that. It’s a really powerful reason why we’re so keen on the private sector.”

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EBRD launches first circular-economy programme

To address barriers to the transition to a circular economy, the EBRD is launching a new programme, called the “Circular Economy Regional Initiative”, in Turkey and the Western Balkans. The programme will support investments in the private sector, particularly SMEs, to implement innovative and resource-efficient technologies and adopt circular business models in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

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EBRD Green Cities reaches a new milestone

The municipality of Medias in Romania has signed up to become the 50th city to join the EBRD Green Cities programme, a fast growing €3 billion initiative to improve the environment in urban areas throughout the Bank’s regions. The EBRD will lend Medias RON 38 million (€7.7 million) to part-fund a European Union-sponsored project to improve the city’s infrastructure.

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Shortly after Medias Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city with a population of 1.5 million, also joined the Green Cities programme. Under the programme, the EBRD and other financiers will be available to finance upgrades of solid waste management, water and wastewater, urban roads and lighting, urban transport, public building energy efficiency, renewable energy and power infrastructure energy efficiency.

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EBRD President at Western Balkans Summit

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso took part in the EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia this week. Participants agreed on a declaration which “reaffirms the EU's unequivocal support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans”. The EU also offered a €30 billion economic and investment plan to support the countries’ preparations for EU accession. The EBRD President said: “We support the economies in the Western Balkans region and the cooperation with Team Europe.”

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EBRD underscores support for reform process in Moldova

With a personal visit to Moldova this week, the EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Matteo Patrone, underscored the Bank’s support for the country and the current reform process. After meetings with highest political leaders and business representatives, he said: “The EBRD is a strong supporter of Moldova and we remain fully committed to the country’s economic development. Implementing the administration’s ambitious agenda will send a strong signal to the private sector and help unlock jobs-generating investment by local and foreign investors alike. We stand ready to support the business environment with investment, advice and technical assistance.”

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New small business online platform with legal and business guidance

The EBRD has launched an online resource in Georgia with legal and business guidance to support MSMEs in their response to new challenges following the Covid-19 pandemic. The website also contains a separate section for Georgia that offers country-specific legal and financial guidance in the local language and was developed with financial support from the United Kingdom government through the Good Governance Fund (GGF). The resource has already been introduced in Ukraine and Moldova last month.

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EBRD Vice President Matta starts and Vice President Pons says goodbye

The new EBRD Vice President Dina Matta started her role this week. As Chief Transformation Officer, she will oversee the Bank’s digital transformation, as well as its move to its new London Headquarters in Canary Wharf in autumn 2022. Meanwhile, Fernando Pons, Vice President Human Resources and Organisational Development, ended his term at the EBRD. President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “I would like to thank Fernando for his dedication over the last four years in ensuring the smooth running of our operations and setting strong foundations for the next tasks ahead. His work will enabling the Bank to achieve its core objectives in many areas.”

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Project signings and agreements

Providing new €23.5 million loan to Moldovan Railways

The EBRD is providing Moldova’s national railway operator Calea Ferată din Moldova with an €23.5 million loan to upgrade key infrastructure. The new loan follows a joint €110 million financial package by EBRD, European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Union (EU), agreed in 2014 and disbursed in 2017, to upgrade railway infrastructure, acquire new rolling stock and support the reform process of the state-owned enterprise. The Moldovan government requested the new financing in order to continue the infrastructure upgrade.

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EBRD acquires stake in Bulgaria’s Euroins Insurance Group

The EBRD signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Bulgaria’s Euroins Insurance Group (EIG), one of the largest independent non-life insurance groups in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. The Bank is investing €30 million through a capital increase, while Еurohold, the insurance group’s parent company, is providing a further equity injection of up to €12 million.

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EBRD and Banka OTP Albania support ONE Telecommunications

The EBRD and Banka OTP Albania are supporting the expansion of one of the country’s leading telecommunications providers, ONE Telecommunications. Banka OTP Albania is providing a €2 million loan, with €1 million to be guaranteed by the EBRD, under a risk-sharing facility. The goal is to advance telecommunications services and connectivity in the country at a time when digitalisation is key in the post-Covid-19 economy.

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The EBRD on social media

We hosted a new EBRD EconTalk on what is at stake at COP26 next month live on Facebook with the President, Mike Spence, Jean Pisani-Ferri and Beata Javorcik all appearing on the panel.

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The EBRD welcomed Kharkiv to our EBRD Green Cities family!

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Harry Boyd-Carpenter highlighted the EBRD's crucial role in driving green innovation.

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In the run up to COP26 we have been looking at how the EBRD and its clients lead the way in the solar energy sector. From solar farms in Albania to solar window blinds in Ukraine!

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