A second extension of the Greek Corporate Bond Framework (the "Framework"), initially approved in 2017 and further extended in 2018, is under implementation. The proposed extension will consist of up to €200 million to be invested in publicly listed corporate bonds issued by Greek companies and listed on the Athens Stock Exchange or other EUR/ATS platforms under EU regulations. The main objective of the Framework is to further support the development of the Greek debt capital markets by investing into publicly listed corporate bond issuances to demonstrate the viability of debt capital markets as a funding source, and to assist companies of all sizes and sectors in their efforts to access the international and domestic capital markets. Furthermore, the Framework will support the re-opening of Greek debt capital markets following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Framework aims to support the re-opening and development of debt capital markets in Greece by:
- Supporting access to finance through capital markets for SMEs, mid-caps, large-caps
- Signalling the Bank's commitment to develop the local corporate bond market
- Using a dedicated framework to respond quickly to emerging investor demand
- Building market capacity thereby adding to depth and liquidity
- Raising awareness of and promoting green bond issuances
- Promoting high standards of corporate governance, transparency and disclosure
- Demonstrating to potential investors the viability of new issues
ETI score: 60
The transition impact of the Framework will be derived from two main sources:
- The Framework aims to promote the resilience of bond financing in the local and international capital market for a broad range of Greek corporates, while extending the investor base and improving market access for issuers and investors in a challenging environment. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 induced crisis, EBRD will support corporates to regain access to the public debt capital markets. This will entail participation in successful bond issuances in order to build scale and critical mass, establishing pricing benchmarks, boosting market liquidity and ultimately contributing to the development and long-term financial viability of the Greek debt capital markets.
- The Framework will support issuers that encourage the adoption of high standards for governance and corporate behaviour. While disclosure and reporting requirements are already in place in relation to local bond issuances, there is room for convergence towards internationally acceptable standards. As a result, higher levels of disclosure are likely to encourage more investors to enter the market. In addition, engaging with companies on green (transition) bond issuances is also expected to contribute to improved corporate climate governance standards.
The Framework will be available for Greek corporates, excluding banks and non-bank financial institutions. The Framework will not concentrate on a specific set of corporates or sectors but will be available to issuers across various sectors and sizes ranging from SMEs to large corporates.
EBRD Finance Summary
Total Project Cost
A well-functioning bond market provides access to credit constituting an alternative way of financing, which is particularly relevant in Greece where bank lending is still constrained by the high level of NPEs and where challenges are expected to remain elevated following the COVID-19 pandemic. With a dedicated framework for corporate clients, EBRD will be able to contribute in a timely, structured, and consistent manner in developing the necessary critical mass needed to revive the corporate bond market. In addition, EBRD's participation as a long-term investor helps build momentum and investor interest by signalling potential market uptake for a series of issues, thereby encouraging sustained issuer presence and investor participation.
Environmental and Social Summary
The Framework itself is not categorised; however, each sub-project will be categorised on a case by case basis and will be subject to individual environmental and social due diligence (ESDD). The ESDD for each sub-project will be determined on the basis of the specific use of proceeds, especially where this involves investment projects. Due to the nature of capital market transactions, the Bank's environmental and social appraisal will be risk based. It may have to rely solely on publicly available information to assess the client's capacity and commitment to manage the environmental and/or social risks associated with its business activities (and with the investment projects to be financed with proceeds raised through such capital market transactions) in accordance with relevant national laws, GIP, and the EBRD Performance Requirements (PRs). The appraisal will identify whether the available information is sufficient to determine the environmental and social risks and impacts of the project and compliance with the PRs. After subscription, the Bank will require clients to comply with the PRs. No high E&S risk sub-projects or sub-projects categorised "A" will be financed through this Framework.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Technical cooperation (TC) assistance is expected to be offered to Greek corporates in the form of
- capacity building workshops to raise awareness for green bond instruments, and
- customized advisory solutions for the preparation of green bond issuances
TC will be explored separately for each sub-project in relation to the potential of TC to facilitate green (transition) bond issuances.
In addition, the Bank will provide technical assistance to the Hellenic Ministry of Finance for the design of a Capital Markets Development Strategy for Greece.
PSD last updated
08 Jun 2020
Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.
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Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.
Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)
The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”. The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.
More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.
Integrity and Compliance
The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.
OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.
Access to Information Policy (AIP)
The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.
Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.
Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)
If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).
IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.
Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM via email email@example.com to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.