EBRD supports international trade in Greece through Alpha Bank

By Axel  Reiserer

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€50 million finance line to facilitate foreign trade

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the expansion of international trade with a €50 million facility to Alpha Bank under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

Strengthening trade is an important element of the EBRD’s strategy to support regional and global integration of the countries where it invests. Through integration economies can grow more strongly and sustainably as they successfully compete on global markets.

The facility will help Alpha Bank to scale up its trade finance activities, despite the financial market conditions, and  reaffirm itself as a prime trade partner, supporting the trade activities of exporters, importers and distributors of imported goods in Greece.

Alpha Bank is one of Greece’s largest banks with a strong presence on the local and international banking markets. The EBRD became a minority shareholder last year during the recapitalisation of Greece’s four systemic banks in order to strengthen their capital base and to facilitate their transfer into private ownership.

Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions, said: “Supporting the expansion of trade finance in Greece is critically important for the revival of the country’s economy. We are pleased to welcome Alpha Bank into our Trade Facilitation Programme and strengthen our cooperation with the bank also in the area of trade. The programme will help Alpha Bank to better meet clients’ trade finance needs and further expand activities which will benefit the whole economy.”

Artemios Ch. Theodoridis, Alpha Bank’s Wholesale Banking and International Network General Manager added: “In challenging times, Alpha Bank – consistent in its role as one of the pillars of the Greek banking system and the Greek economy – demonstrates its commitment to supporting the trade finance activities of its customers. Our collaboration with the EBRD in the Trade Facilitation Programme ensures attractive alternatives for our customers’ international business development through a powerful alliance with a valuable partner.”

The EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme, launched in 1999, aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among the countries where the EBRD invests. Through the programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

The TFP currently includes over 120 partner banks in 25 countries where the EBRD invests, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total, and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

The EBRD started investing in Greece in 2015 on a temporary basis with the goal to support the country’s recovery from its current economic crisis. The Bank’s aim is to encourage foreign and domestic investment, strengthen the role of the private sector and deepen regional integration.

Facilitating trade relations is an important contribution to strengthen Greek banks’ and companies’ positions in the international economy.

The EBRD’s strategic plan for the countries where it invests for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.

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