EBRD newsletter - Friday 02 October

By EBRD  Press Office

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A digest of recent news from the EBRD

Regional developments

Revising down economic forecasts

The EBRD has wound back forecasts for the emerging economies where it invests with an overall contraction across its economies of 3.9 per cent this year, and a return to growth next year of 3.6 percent, after measures to contain the impact of the coronavirus pandemic lasted for longer than previously anticipated.

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The latest Regional Economic Prospects report, launched on Thursday, was met with great interest by traditional and social media. Extensive coverage was registered throughout  EBRD shareholder countries and also included the survey on the impact of the crisis on selected countries, which is part of the report.

EBRD economists led by Chief Economist Beata Javorcik engaged with the media in interviews about the report’s main findings and the outlook for countries and regions, “We are particularly concerned about lower income people in countries that are not set to benefit from European firepower,” said Ms Javorcik told the news agency Reuters.

The EBRD Chief Economist also pointed out that countries heavily dependent on tourism and diaspora funds are the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in an interview with Le Monde.

“Globally, what we have seen is that exports of services are not recovering as fast as exports of manufactured goods,” she said in conversation with the Wall Street Journal. As a consequence “some businesses will go bankrupt,” she warned.

EBRD Annual Meeting sets sights on resilient post-coronavirus future

The EBRD will hold its Annual Meeting virtually on 7 and 8 October. During the event the Bank shareholders will agree steps to deliver a robust post-Covid future for the 38 emerging economies and elect a new President of the Bank.

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New projects and signings

Investing in Egypt-focused private equity fund

In Egypt, the EBRD is boosting the resilience of the financial sector and supporting equity financing to SMEs by investing up to US$ 50 million in LCP Fund II.

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EBRD acquires minority stake in Lithuania’s Ignitis Group

The EBRD has acquired a 4 per cent stake in the Lithuanian energy company Ignitis Group, supporting the largest share listing to have occurred in the Baltic states. The EBRD investment of €67.5 million represented 15 per cent of the €450 million initial public offering.

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Work starts to make Moldovan city of Balti greener

Moldova’s second largest city, Balti, is beginning its journey towards a greener future by developing its Green City Action Plan, with the renewal of its trolleybus fleet. The development of the action plan is funded by the government of Sweden and part of the EBRD’s flagship urban sustainability programme Green Cities.

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Supporting Uzbek SMEs and female entrepreneurs

The EBRD is strengthening Uzbek local small enterprises and women-led businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic with a US$ 40 million finance package to Ipoteka Bank.

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Helping Turkmen small businesses affected by coronavirus pandemic

In Turkmenistan, the EBRD is providing a senior loan of up to US$1.5 million to the domestic snacks producer Ӓlem Gӓmisi for working capital purposes and to help the company manage increased delivery terms and transportation costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Supporting green investments in Morocco

In Morocco, the EBRD, EU, GCF and South Korea are supporting green investments by the private sector. Two programmes, cumulatively worth €253 million, will support investments in green technologies and help local businesses and SMEs become more competitive.

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Changing lives

Helping Georgian firm’s expansion into fire extinguisher production

As a guest, what should you bring to a dinner party? Paata Tchumburidze has a very original suggestion: a bottle of quality Georgian wine and a fire extinguisher, manufactured in Georgia! Together with the EU, the EBRD is helping the Georgian firm’s expansion into fire extinguisher production.

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Refurbishing a kindergarten in Chisinau

In Moldova’s capital Chisinau the EBRD is teaming up with E5P and EIB to refurbish six kindergartens, make them more comfortable and eco-friendly, with support from the EU and Austria.

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Euromoney webinar: “CEE: future engines of growth”

EBRD Acting President Jürgen Rigterink spoke at a webinar “CEE Forward: Future engines of growth - how can Central and Eastern Europe take advantage of a changing global environment?” The webinar is available on demand. In his intervention he pointed put investment and growth opportunities in the region.

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Opening submissions for EBRD Literature Prize 2021

The Bank this week announced the launch of the EBRD Literature Prize 2021, in cooperation with the British Council. The prize will reward best works of literary fiction from across EBRD’s regions translated into English, awarding to both writers and translators.

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Athens Democracy Forum: The New Abnormal

EBRD Chief Economist Beata Javorcik participated in a panel discussion at the Athens Democracy Forum, speaking about “Capitalism in a post-Covid world”.

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Conference on Green Financing in Central Europe

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB), in cooperation with the EBRD, is organising an international green financial conference on 12 October 2020. Subjects of discussion will include the green recovery, an assessment of the adverse impacts of climate change and the funding opportunities for renewable energy.

Further information and registration

EBRD in social media

The EBRD published a new video on its support for the agribusiness sector, featuring Natalya Zhukova, EBRD Head of Agribusiness.

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On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Bank promoted its work to support inclusive and sustainable tourism across its regions.

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Celebrating Diversity Week, the EBRD shared a video featuring some of its staff.

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Short videos with testimonials from students of the EBRD’s online platform, Know How Academy, were promoted across all social media platforms.

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The EBRD held a webinar, supported by the EU, on how local producers in Jordan can overcome challenges and boost competitiveness, growth, and exports.

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