Luxembourg and Ljubljana, 26 July 2023 – The Green for Growth Fund (GGF), an impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, has invested EUR 20 million in NLB’s EUR 500 million inaugural green bond. The fund aims to provide support specifically for various projects in the field of renewable energy in North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
NLB Group is the leading banking and financial group with exclusive strategic interest in Southeast Europe. GGF has been working in partnership with the NLB Group since 2011, when the fund first extended a facility to NLB Banka, Banja Luka (formerly named NLB Razvojna Banka) to support low-carbon heating and distributed renewable energy production. NLB Group is a valued partner for the GGF as it shares the fund's vision of mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable economic growth.
NLB Group will strive to allocate the bond issue amount to support eligible green projects complying with the conditions defined in NLB's Green Bond Framework (Framework). Sustainalytics in a second-party opinion assessed the Framework and expressed confidence that the Framework is robust, transparent and in alignment with the four core components of the Green Bond Principles 2021. The investment is expected to contribute to SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (climate action) by financing green energy transition projects and initiatives across the Southeast Europe, a region still heavily reliant on coal to meet its energy needs. Such diversification will also contribute to energy independence and take a step toward achieving the region’s goals made under the Paris Agreement.
GGF Chairman Christopher Knowles said: "We are very pleased to invest in this important green bond issuance which marks another step in our long-term partnership with NLB. With this investment, we look forward to reinforcing our shared commitment in and support for the transition to a low-carbon economy in North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. We believe this green bond will create new opportunities for financing green projects that will have a positive impact for both the environment and society."
“This transaction reflects strong credit and performance of the NLB Group, as well as demonstrates that NLB has wide access to capital markets, and very importantly it is a measure of confirming our approach to sustainability. In the NLB Group we firmly support the transition to a low-carbon sustainable economy that will use resources more efficiently. We are committed to making a positive contribution to this both through our own operations and our business, thereby creating better footprints,” commented NLB’s CEO Blaž Brodnjak.
ABOUT THE GGF
The Green for Growth Fund invests in measures designed to cut energy use and CO2 emissions, and improve resource efficiency in 19 markets across Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Middle East and North Africa. The fund provides such financing directly to renewable energy projects, corporates and municipalities or indirectly via selected financial institutions. The GGF’s Technical Assistance Facility maximizes the fund’s investment impact through support for capacity building at local financial institutions and partners.
The GGF was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, with financial support from the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB). The fund’s growing investor base comprises donor agencies, international financial institutions, and institutional private investors, including the International Finance Corporation, the Dutch development bank FMO, and the German ethical bank GLS. The GGF is advised by Finance in Motion GmbH. MACS Energy & Water GmbH, Frankfurt am Main acts as the technical advisor.
ABOUT THE NLB GROUP
NLB Group is the largest banking and financial group in Slovenia with a strategic focus in Southern and Eastern Europe, covering markets with over 17 million people. In addition to NLB d.d., a main entity in Slovenia and a public company, NLB Group is comprised of seven subsidiary banks and several companies for ancillary services (asset management, real estate management, leasing, etc.).
The Group utilizes a universal banking model and supports its clients through retail, corporate, and investment banking services. The market share of member banks is in excess of 10% (measured by total assets) in six out of seven markets, where NLB Group operates.
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