The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) handed €784 million in 2020 in liquidity lines to local banks for on-lending to businesses in the private sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises in 2020, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and its related impacts.
This came within the EBRD’s annual results announced on Thursday.
The EBRD’s investments in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where Egypt is located, rose to €2.13 billion in 2020, up from €1.85 billion in 2019, out of a record €11 billion invested in 2020 through 411 projects in the 38 economies — across different regions — where it invests in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
This represents a 10 percent increase in annual business investment, compared to 2019, when the bank provided €10.1 billion to finance 452 projects, according to the EBRD.
The EBRD also supported a new record of 2,090 trade finance transactions worth €3.3 billion under its Trade Facilitation Programme, involving 90 issuing and 140 confirming banks across 40 countries worldwide.
The EBRD mobilised €1.2 billion from co-investors as well driven by the ongoing crisis, in which the global economy is suffering its most severe slump since the great depression of the 1930s.
The bank also continued to back the private sector, which is its main role, that accounted for 72 percent of total EBRD investments in 2020.
Owing to the urgency of addressing the COVID-19 crisis, in 2020, the share of green investment fell to 29 percent, down from 46 percent in 2019, yet in October, the bank approved its five-year strategic and capital Framework (2021-2025), which aims to make the EBRD a majority green bank by 2025.
To date, the EBRD has invested more than €7 billion in 125 projects in Egypt, where the bank’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects, such as the power sector, municipal water and wastewater services, and transport, according to the EBRD.