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EBRD newsletter - Friday 22 January

By EBRD  Press Office

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EBRD record investment in 2020 in response to Covid-19

The EBRD responded to the coronavirus pandemic with record investment of €11 billion in 2020 through 411 projects, addressing the urgent needs of the 38 economies where it invests. This represented a 10 per cent increase in annual business investment relative to 2019, when the Bank provided €10.1 billion to finance 452 projects.

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EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso spoke to one of Europe’s leading newspapers FAZ about the Bank’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the outlook for 2021, the need for a green transition and the future of multilateralism

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Major media outlets such as Reuters, AFP and bne IntelliNews reported on the Bank’s operational results in 2020. The results were especially widely reported in countries of operations and complemented by media engagements, for instance in Serbia, Ukraine, Greece and Turkey.

The results were also successfully shared on the Bank’s social media channels. The EBRD President tweeted: “We absolutely delivered on our promise to help our countries & clients deal with the economic impact of #COVID19. Now is the time to #BuildBackBetterEconomies”

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Moody’s reaffirms EBRD’s triple-A rating

Moody’s, the rating agency, this week reaffirmed the EBRD’s Aaa rating with stable outlook, commenting: “Support from a globally diverse group of shareholders is solid, manifesting itself in repeated extensions of the EBRD's mandate into new countries and regions. The share of highly rated non-borrowing shareholders is very high and reflects a very strong ability to provide support if needed.”

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Inequality and Covid-19

The EBRD hosted a virtual discussion on inequality during and after the Covid-19 pandemic this week featuring Sir Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize laureate in Economics and Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School, Professor Branko Milanovic, Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and EBRD Chief Economist Beata Javorcik. The panel warned of the imminent danger that the pandemic will further increase already existing inequalities and discussed approaches to prevent such a scenario

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Development banks mobilised US$ 175 billion of private finance in 2019

A new report published this week about “The Mobilization of Private Finance by Multilateral Development Banks and Development Finance Institutions 2019” finds that 27 multilateral development banks and development finance institutions mobilised US$ 175 billion of private finance in 2019, an increase of 9 per cent over the previous year.


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Project signings

EBRD and Bank of Mongolia agree swap facility

In Mongolia, the EBRD and the Bank of Mongolia (BOM) agreed to set up a long-term dollar-togrog swap facility to increase the availability of loans in local currency for companies in agribusiness, building materials, light manufacturing and services sectors.

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EBRD supports 5G roll-out in Poland

The EBRD supported the Polish mobile network operator Play with an investment of PLN 100 million (€22 million) in a senior unsecured bond in favour of the company. The company will invest the funds in a roll-out of 5G technology, spearheading an acceleration of digitalisation across the country.

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€26 million loan to build new wind farms in Poland

The EBRD provided a loan of €26 million for a windfarm project with a total installed capacity of 51.4 MW in the north-east of Poland. The project will help accelerate the country’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.

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Providing US$ 58 million loan to Turk Ekonomi Bankasi

In Turkey, the EBRD provided a loan of up to US$ 58 million to Turk Ekonomi Bankasi in support of local small businesses facing liquidity shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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New financing for flour miller Ulusoy Un

The EBRD and TSKB, the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey, jointly provided a local currency loan of TRY 40 million loan to fund flour producer Ulusoy Un’s growing need for working capital to keep up with high demand from pasta-makers, bakeries and locked-down customers as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

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Supporting SMEs and green homes in North Macedonia

In North Macedonia, the EBRD provided two loans collectively worth €3.5 million to ProCredit Bank Skopje to help SMEs achieve compliance with the EU health and safety standards and residential home-owners to make their buildings more energy efficient.

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Supporting packaging producer in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, the EBRD shared 50 per cent of risk on a KZT 450 million (around US$1.1 million) loan provided by its long-term partner Bank CenterCredit to the local packaging producer INTELLPACK.

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Supporting secure and green energy in Jordan

In Jordan, the EBRD provided National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) with a US$ 100 million financing package to help the firm address working capital constraints by replacing short-term debt financing borrowed at the first peak of the Covid-19 crisis with a longer-term facility. 

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Introducing new bus fleet in Amman

In Jordan, in a first project under the EBRD Green Cities programme in the country, the Bank provided a financial package of €14.8 million to the Greater Amman Municipality for the procurement of a new bus fleet that will include zero-emission electric and Euro V diesel buses.

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Donors gave half a billion euros to EBRD projects in 2020

The international donor community delivered indispensable support to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic with a contribution of almost half a billion euros to investments by the EBRD in 2020.

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Albania to launch tender for first wind power plants

The government of Albania announced plans to launch the first tender for the construction of utility-scale on-shore wind power plants in early in 2021. The initiative is supported by the EBRD with additional grant assistance of €650,000 provided by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). This is a major contribution towards the improvement of the country’s future energy supply mix, which will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Start-up Innovation Challenge 2020 announces winners

The EBRD announced the winners of the 2020 EBRD Start-up Innovation Challenge in response to Covid-19. Winners came from Turkey, Egypt, Romania and Cyprus. The initiative was supported with donor funds from the Republic of Korea, and in Egypt by the EBRD’s Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United States).

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Turkmen footwear manufacturer first to produce trainers and wellington boots

In Turkmenistan, with finance and business advice from the EBRD and funded by the EU, Arassa Rysgal, a leading manufacturer of light footwear diversified its operations and became the first in the country to launch production of trainers and wellington boots.

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Supporting green farming in Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, the EBRD, the EU, the Green Climate Fund and the Republic of Korea, under the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), have joined forces to support small and medium-sized entrepreneurs with their ambition to grow their businesses by making them more climate-friendly and resilient.

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Egypt launches EBRD-UNWTO tourism recovery assistance package

In Egypt, to boost the recovery of the tourism sector from the losses caused by Covid-19 lockdowns, the Ministries of International Cooperation and Tourism and Antiquities engaged with the World Tourism Organization UNWTO and the EBRD to ensure that Egypt’s national priorities are addressed. 

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Events and engagements

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso had an online call with Egypt’s Prime Minister Moustafa Madouri and Rania Al Mashat 

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The London School of Economics hosted a discussion on the recovery of the Greek economy with EBRD economists and experts Julia Boulliard, Peter Sanfey and Dimitris Sourvanos.

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Covid-19 and the recovery of the energy sector were discussed in a webinar this week featuring the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol and EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, outlining policy proposals for sustainable recovery across the EBRD regions. 

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The Latvian Capital Market Forum was opened on Tuesday with a keynote address of Jim Turnbull, EBRD Associate Director, Capital Markets Development. He called for intense cooperation “to make the whole larger than the sum of its parts.”

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The Bank launched a partnership with Micromentor to recruit mentors and provide advice for businesses facing pressures because of the coronavirus pandemic, with a special focus on Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco and West Bank and Gaza 

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