- Southern and eastern Mediterranean the second-largest regional recipient of EBRD investment in 2022
- More than €2.4 billion invested in 50 projects across the region last year alone
- Record total Bank investment of €13.1 billion in 431 projects in 36 economies in 2022
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) posted record investment of €2.4 billion in 50 projects in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region in 2022, supporting its investee economies in an extremely challenging global economic environment.
This follows cumulative investment of €1.5 billion in 2021 in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the West Bank and Gaza.
Seventy per cent of the Bank’s 2022 investments in the SEMED region were in the private sector, while 42 per cent were in the green economy. Half of all projects had a gender inclusion component.
In Egypt, the Bank invested more than €1.3 billion in 25 projects with a view to promoting a green and inclusive economy. Fifty-nine per cent of all investments were green and 62 per cent had a gender and inclusion focus.
The Bank became Egypt’s lead partner on the NWFE energy pillar, which was announced during COP27 and has committed US$ 1 billion of private renewable finance, US$ 300 million in sovereign finance and grants of US$ 3 million from its Shareholder Special Fund.
The initiative secured international political support from the United States of America and Germany, which pledged more than US$ 250 million to support it. In addition, the initiative is planning to deploy more than US$ 300 million in grant and concessional finance from the European Commission, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom, as well as donors to the EBRD’s High Impact Partnership on Climate Action (Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the TaiwanICDF and the United Kingdom).
To further the decarbonisation and Paris alignment of Egypt’s economy, EBRD extended a US$ 80 million loan to Fertiglobe to develop the country’s first green hydrogen facility in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. It was also the first integrated green hydrogen plant in Africa.
In Jordan, the Bank provided €141 million in financing in 2022. Its investments included the first project in the SEMED region to incorporate the EBRD’s Paris alignment methodology in the financial sector. This consisted of US$ 35 million in Basel III-compliant subordinated debt to Bank al Etihad to strengthen its lending capacity for businesses, individuals and women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The Bank also signed in Jordan a US$ 2 million including US$ 0.5 million of co-financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) with Microfund for Women (MFW), the first Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) in the SEMED region with a micro fund institution.
In Lebanon, the Bank continued to support imports of critical commodities through its Trade Facilitation Programme. Under its Advice for Small Business programme, funded by the European Union (EU), the Bank provided more than 180 advisory projects to small businesses.
In Morocco, the Bank provided €528 million of investment in 2022, more than double the €211 million provided in 2021, with record levels in the private sector and in support of the green economy.
The Bank invested MAD 400 million in Morocco’s first municipal bond – a MAD 1 billion issue by the City of Agadir, the capital of Morocco’s Souss-Massa region – supporting its plans to diversify its funding sources by tapping the debt capital market.
In Tunisia, the Bank invested €387 million, including €150.5 million of funding to Office des Céréales (ODC), a Tunisian state-owned company, for imports of soft wheat, durum wheat and barley.
The EBRD also supported the economy of the West Bank and Gaza, focusing on boosting small businesses by extending credit lines and trade facilities to local banks. From 2017 to 2022, the Bank financed 20 transactions worth €82 million, while 100 small businesses received advisory support.
The EBRD Board of Directors approved an extension of the Bank’s work in the West Bank and Gaza to 2027.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the SEMED region benefitted from 574 advisory projects through the EBRD’s small business advisory programme.
The region continued to see strong donor support, including from the EU, the EBRD SEMED Multi-Donor Account,* the Green Climate Fund, the Global Concessional Financing Facility and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
The EBRD invested a record €13.1 billion in its regions in 2022 in the face of an extremely challenging global economic environment in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, confirming its countercyclical role in supporting its clients and the economies in which it operates.
The 2022 result was significantly higher than 2021’s total Annual Bank Investment (ABI) of €10.4 billion and the previous record of €11 million in 2020 in response to the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Bank, which is strongly committed to the global climate agenda, also announced in December that it had fulfilled its pledge to align all of its activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement on limiting climate change.
EBRD green economy financing reached 50 per cent of total business volumes in 2022, at more than €6 billion compared with the previous record of €5.4 billion set in 2021.
*The EBRD SEMED Multi-Donor Account is supported by Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Taipei China and the United Kingdom.