INTERVIEW: “The weekend’s protests were the Russian people's, not the opposition’s” – Maxim Reznik
Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
@russian_market sacked by UBS for supporting Navalny
Elbrus Capital attracts major international players to invest in the Russian digital sphere
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden have first phone call, extend START II treaty for five years
ING: Russian budget’s modest deficit leaves fiscal room for 2021
Public support is collapsing for The People’s Servant Party
Ukraine’s industrial output jumped 4.8% y/y in December
State-owned Ukrgasbank signs off on convertible €30mn IFC loan ahead of its privatisation
National Bank of Ukraine retains a key policy rate at 6%, the outlook of the CPI deteriorates
Estonia's two big parties agree on grand coalition
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
Czech billionaire Kellner´s PPF makes another bid for Moneta Money Bank
Czech MPs pass protectionist food law in violation of EU rules
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Polish parcel locker operator InPost soars in Euronext Amsterdam debut
Polish industrial production continues boom in December
OUTLOOK 2021 Poland
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
BALKAN BLOG: Only better waste management can clean rivers of trash
Pandemic pushes public debt close to 80% of GDP in Albania and Montenegro
BALKAN BLOG: Superstition and resentment surround vaccination plans
Albania needs reforms for e-commerce to thrive, says World Bank
Bosnia's exports in 2020 amounted to BAM10.5bn, trade deficit to BAM6.3bn
Bulgaria’s latest nuclear u-turn
Retailers and restaurant owners threaten protests in Bulgaria if reopening is delayed
Bulgaria's Biodit first company to IPO on new BEAM market
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Kosovo’s biggest opposition party risks being unable to run in general election
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegro’s special prosecution probes finance minister over €750mn Eurobond issue
North Macedonia’s state-owned loss-makers await new owners
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
Romanian cybersecurity company Safetech floats shares amid rising investor interest
Romania government to pursue “ambitious” timetable for justice reforms
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
EBRD and WBIF support fast broadband in rural Serbia
Slovenia plans region's longest-tenor Eurobond
Slovenian crypto payment system enters Thai market
Slovenia’s economic sentiment indicator up 2.2 pp m/m in January
Slovenia lost €10bn by neglecting wood industry for decades
D’S Damat franchise deals ‘show Turkey’s hard-pressed mall operators becoming their own tenants’
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
Following war with Armenia, Azerbaijan gains control of lucrative gold mines
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Azerbaijan
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
“Try me” not telecoms minister Iran’s president tells hardliners in internet row
Iran’s President Khamenei menaces private citizen Trump
Iran’s technology minister indicted for failing to properly implement internet censorship
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent, say Biden national security nominees
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
COMMENT: Mongolia is an island of democracy
OUTLOOK 2021 Mongolia
Mongolia's PM quits amid protests over treatment of mother with coronavirus and newborn baby
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Tajikistan: Writing for the president is on the wall (and then scrubbed off)
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested a record €11bn in 411 projects in 2020, a 10% year-on-year increase, stepping up investments as the 38 economies where it invests were struck by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As COVID-19 cases rose across Europe in March, the EBRD adopted emergency measures to address the economic impact of the pandemic, becoming the first of the international financial institutions to do so. Its focus was on helping existing clients, for example by providing short-term liquidity and working capital to viable companies.
As well as its own investments, the development bank also directly mobilised €1.2bn from co-investors during the year. The private sector received 72% of total EBRD investment during the year.
“The bank put in an impressive performance and delivered on its promise to help our countries and clients deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our investments were sharply higher than the year before and we also provided policy support to help the private sector through the crisis,” said EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso in a statement.
The bank also supported a record 2,090 trade finance transactions worth €3.3 billion under its Trade Facilitation Programme, that includes 90 issuing and 140 confirming banks across 40 countries, to help keep trade flows going as supply chains were disrupted by the pandemic. Among the transactions supported by the bank were imports of medicines from Spain, Turkey and Switzerland into Lebanon, Georgia and Jordan. In addition, it continued to support the development of local currency and capital markets with 113 projects.
The pandemic’s impact has not been uniform, and has added to existing inequalities, coming down especially hard on women, young people and other groups, according to the EBRD, which prompted the bank to increase inclusion projects by 24% to reach a total investment volume of €4bn.
There were some casualties as attention shifted to the pandemic; last year the share of green investment fell to 29% after reaching a high of 46% in 2019. However, in October the EBRD adopted its new five-year Strategic and Capital Framework, which aims to make it a majority green bank by 2025. The bank also launched its Just Transition Initiative to help protect communities, sectors and workers who stand to lose out economically as a result of policies associated with decarbonisation.
The Green Cities urban sustainability programme continues to expand. The EBRD doubled funding for the proogramme, and it has been extended to 44 municipalities across the bank’s area of operations by the end of 2020, with new entrants including the Polsh capital Warsaw. Also in coal-dependent Poland, which is struggling to embark on a green transition, the EBRD launched five major new renewables projects.
In 2020, the EBRD and other donors within the Western Balkans Investment Framework approved an additional €77.6mn in investment grants and technical cooperation for projects in the EU-aspiring region, which will be supported by a further €204mn in EBRD finance.
Also in the Western Balkans, the EBRD boosted support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the private sector, providing €729mn in loans to commercial banks for on-lending to local businesses to finance investments that will support the recovery and strengthen their competitiveness.
The development bank has been supporting regional connectivity and infrastructure, including through a €30mn loan to Kosovo to ensure the continuation of vital services, a €50mn senior loan to EPCG to support the stability of energy provision in Montenegro and an €85mn loan for Serbia to finance the construction of a new section of the “Peace Highway” to Kosovo.
Further east, major EBRD investments included a €450mn loan to Ukrainian state road agency Ukravtodor, supporting the government in the development of national road infrastructure and the fight against corruption.
It funded over $400mn worth of investments in the energy sector in the South Caucasus, including Armenia’s first renewable project Masrik Solar.
Its biggest infrastructure project outside the oil and gas sector in Central Asia was the Almaty ring road, for which the EBRD arranged a $585mn syndicated loan. In neighbouring Uzbekistan, the EBRD financed one of the first privately owned renewable energy projects, a 100 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the Navoi region.
The priority for the bank in Turkey was the provision of support to the real economy through engagement with local partner banks, to which it channelled a record €893mn, supporting thousands of businesses. It also provided both infrastructure support and funds for renewables in the energy sector.
The newer EBRD members in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region were badly hit by the pandemic. The bank’s response included the provision of €784mn in liquidity lines to local banks for on-lending to businesses in Egypt.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: