The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has subscribed to a bond issued by Fransabank for $ 15 million, the first in Lebanon with the explicit aim of financing green investment.
The new funds will support Fransabank – already a market leader in this area – to scale up its lending to commercial energy-efficiency, renewable-energy and green building projects in the country.
The initial issuance totaling US$ 60 million represents the first tranche of Fransabank’s $ 150 million bond program. The EBRD participated alongside the International Finance Corporation, which subscribed to US$ 45 million. The bond subscription marks the EBRD’s first debt project in Lebanon and follows the trade finance line signed on March 15 in Beirut by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti.
Green financing is one of the EBRD’s strategic goals. The Bank has been strengthening its efforts in this field, with a record €4.1 billion of investment under the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach in 2017 alone – up from €2.8 billion a year earlier. At 43 per cent of the Bank’s annual investment, the 2017 result for green financing surpassed ahead of time the EBRD’s target to reach 40 per cent in 2020.
In September 2017, Lebanon joined the Bank's southern and eastern Mediterranaen (SEMED) region, which includes Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, where the EBRD has been investing and engaged in policy reforms since 2012, as well as the West Bank and Gaza since May 2017.
To date the EBRD has invested over €6.8 billion in 179 projects across the SEMED region.