The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has deployed €1.7 billion in Ukraine in 2022 and mobilised a further €200 million via partner banks. This represents more than 10 per cent of the total business of the Bank.
This means the EBRD is on track to deliver on its commitment to invest €3 billion for Ukraine by the end of 2023, with the exceptional support of shareholders and donors who share part of the risk of the investments the EBRD has taken on its own book.
The results come in the face of the extremely challenging global economic environment in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine – confirming the EBRD’s countercyclical role in support to its countries of operations and clients.
“The Bank and its shareholders moved swiftly, following the beginning of the war, to provide adequate support,” said EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso. “This impressive operational performance is testimony to our resilience and determination to support our countries of operation and clients.”
To support the real economy in Ukraine through investments in vital infrastructure, energy and food security, trade and support for the private sector, the EBRD deployed €1.7 billion. A further €200 million were mobilised from partner banks.
The Bank raised €1.4 billion of donor funds in 2022, including unfunded guarantees, which are dedicated to Ukraine and other countries most affected by the war in 2022 and 2023. The Bank bore 60 per cent of the risk related to the investments deployed in Ukraine in 2022.
Highlights of EBRD work in Ukraine in 2022 – which has successfully attracted further foreign grants – include providing Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukraine’s railway company and Ukrenergo, the national power grid operator, with €150 million each of emergency liquidity last summer, to keep the country’s trains running and the lights on.
The Ukrzaliznytsia financing was supported by partial risk coverage from France and the European Union, and the financing for Ukrenergo by the European Union, United Kingdom, USA and The Netherlands.
A later financing package of €370 million to Ukrenergo in the autumn was made up of a €300 million EBRD loan and a €70 million grant from The Netherlands, for emergency repairs to the national power grid necessitated by Russia’s strikes on civilian infrastructure.
Likewise, the EBRD provided the gas company Naftogaz with a financing package of just under €500 million to compensate for the loss of natural gas production following the Russian invasion. Norway will provide a €190 million grant, which complements the €300 million financing line from the EBRD, which is supported by partial risk coverage by the US, Canada, Germany and France.
The EBRD provided Ukraine with a total trade finance turnover of €459 million during 2022.
Together with partner financial institutions, it also supported food security by providing over €280 million to the agribusiness value chain, and bolstered the resilience of other private sector companies, including SMEs, with €170 million.
Policy activity remains very intense, via the Ukraine Reforms Architecture programme (a comprehensive technical assistance programme jointly managed by the EBRD and the European Union since 2016, following requests by the government of Ukraine for support with the implementation of key reforms), promoting good governance in state-owned enterprises with which the EBRD works, and support of human capital in partnership with Ukraine’s Ministry of Education.
The EBRD’s focus in 2022 has been on providing emergency liquidity – to keep the lights and heating on and the trains running, supporting communities and sustaining companies. This is now shifting to providing finance for emergency repairs and rebuilding of infrastructure that is coming under Russian attack.
“In the future, we also intend to expand our work with municipalities, including in de-occupied zones. For this, we foresee that we and our partners will need new financial instruments – a higher proportion of grants rather than loans. We have been requesting further support from shareholders or donors, either in form of donor funds or guarantees, to continue sharing the risks of investing in Ukraine with us this year,” said President Renaud-Basso.
The EBRD President added: “We will remain agile in 2023, responding to changing circumstances and making adjustments according to the needs on the ground as we did last year.”
“When circumstances allow, we will help launch a reconstruction programme for Ukraine to rebuild livelihoods, jobs, and businesses, vital infrastructure, good governance, and access to services. As the largest institutional investor in the country, one with an unrivalled presence on the ground, the EBRD is ready and willing to play a central role in reconstruction.”