Greece Project number:
Manufacturing and Services Notice type:
Private Environmental category:
08 Jul 2020
08 Jun 2020
A second extension of the Greek Corporate Bond Framework (the “Framework”), initially approved in 2017 and further extended in 2018, is under implementation. The proposed extension will consist of up to €200 million to be invested in publicly listed corporate bonds issued by Greek companies and listed on the Athens Stock Exchange or other EUR/ATS platforms under EU regulations. The main objective of the Framework is to further support the development of the Greek debt capital markets by investing into publicly listed corporate bond issuances to demonstrate the viability of debt capital markets as a funding source, and to assist companies of all sizes and sectors in their efforts to access the international and domestic capital markets. Furthermore, the Framework will support the re-opening of Greek debt capital markets following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Framework aims to support the re-opening and development of debt capital markets in Greece by:
- Supporting access to finance through capital markets for SMEs, mid-caps, large-caps
- Signalling the Bank’s commitment to develop the local corporate bond market
- Using a dedicated framework to respond quickly to emerging investor demand
- Building market capacity thereby adding to depth and liquidity
- Raising awareness of and promoting green bond issuances
- Promoting high standards of corporate governance, transparency and disclosure
- Demonstrating to potential investors the viability of new issues
ETI score: 60
The transition impact of the Framework will be derived from two main sources:
- The Framework aims to promote the resilience of bond financing in the local and international capital market for a broad range of Greek corporates, while extending the investor base and improving market access for issuers and investors in a challenging environment. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 induced crisis, EBRD will support corporates to regain access to the public debt capital markets. This will entail participation in successful bond issuances in order to build scale and critical mass, establishing pricing benchmarks, boosting market liquidity and ultimately contributing to the development and long-term financial viability of the Greek debt capital markets.
- The Framework will support issuers that encourage the adoption of high standards for governance and corporate behaviour. While disclosure and reporting requirements are already in place in relation to local bond issuances, there is room for convergence towards internationally acceptable standards. As a result, higher levels of disclosure are likely to encourage more investors to enter the market. In addition, engaging with companies on green (transition) bond issuances is also expected to contribute to improved corporate climate governance standards.
The Framework will be available for Greek corporates, excluding banks and non-bank financial institutions. The Framework will not concentrate on a specific set of corporates or sectors but will be available to issuers across various sectors and sizes ranging from SMEs to large corporates.
EBRD Finance Summary
Total Project Cost
A well-functioning bond market provides access to credit constituting an alternative way of financing, which is particularly relevant in Greece where bank lending is still constrained by the high level of NPEs and where challenges are expected to remain elevated following the COVID-19 pandemic. With a dedicated framework for corporate clients, EBRD will be able to contribute in a timely, structured, and consistent manner in developing the necessary critical mass needed to revive the corporate bond market. In addition, EBRD’s participation as a long-term investor helps build momentum and investor interest by signalling potential market uptake for a series of issues, thereby encouraging sustained issuer presence and investor participation.
Environmental and Social Summary
The Framework itself is not categorised; however, each sub-project will be categorised on a case by case basis and will be subject to individual environmental and social due diligence (ESDD). The ESDD for each sub-project will be determined on the basis of the specific use of proceeds, especially where this involves investment projects. Due to the nature of capital market transactions, the Bank’s environmental and social appraisal will be risk based. It may have to rely solely on publicly available information to assess the client’s capacity and commitment to manage the environmental and/or social risks associated with its business activities (and with the investment projects to be financed with proceeds raised through such capital market transactions) in accordance with relevant national laws, GIP, and the EBRD Performance Requirements (PRs). The appraisal will identify whether the available information is sufficient to determine the environmental and social risks and impacts of the project and compliance with the PRs. After subscription, the Bank will require clients to comply with the PRs. No high E&S risk sub-projects or sub-projects categorised “A” will be financed through this Framework.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Technical cooperation (TC) assistance is expected to be offered to Greek corporates in the form of
- capacity building workshops to raise awareness for green bond instruments, and
- customized advisory solutions for the preparation of green bond issuances
TC will be explored separately for each sub-project in relation to the potential of TC to facilitate green (transition) bond issuances.
In addition, the Bank will provide technical assistance to the Hellenic Ministry of Finance for the design of a Capital Markets Development Strategy for Greece.