The Green for Growth Fund conducted the first local currency transaction in Serbia by providing a loan to UniCredit Bank Serbia.
The Green for Growth Fund (GGF) has joined forces with UniCredit Bank Serbia by providing a loan of RSD 1.76 billion, an equivalent to EUR 15 million, to support the country’s green recovery during the COVID-19 crisis.
The partnership marks the fund’s first local currency transaction in Serbia. Enhancing access to local currency financing empowers end-borrowers to invest in their future without facing the risk of exchange rate fluctuations that could negatively impact their cash flows, the GGF said.
Local currency lending protects from exchange rate risk
“We are pleased to strengthen our strategic partnership with UniCredit Bank Serbia, a well-established market leader. Local currency lending is a key component of responsible finance, as it protects unhedged borrowers from exchange rate risk. As an impact investment fund focused on mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable economic growth, the GGF is keen to advance the practice of local currency financing in Serbia and the region overall,” the GGF’s board member Christopher Knowles (pictured right) said at the signing ceremony.
Knowles: The GGF is keen to advance the practice of local currency financing in Serbia and the region overall
UniCredit Bank Serbia and the GGF have partnered together in 2016 with the goal to finance renewable energy projects and green mortgages.
“This transaction is a great indicator that some of the most important and innovative financial institutions like the GGF rely on our expertise. Besides that, this partnership proves that UniCredit Bank Serbia is a reliable partner and one of the local leaders in financing renewable energy projects,” the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Nikola Vuletić (left) said.
Green transition depends on financial institutions
The joint conclusion was that only strong cooperation of financial institutions can lead society towards a green transition. Such cooperation opens the possibility to improve overall energy security and consumption of renewable energy in Serbia and the region, the GGF said in the announcement.
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. It is advised by Finance in Motion.