The National Bank of Greece (NBG) has raised €500 million in the first green bond issuance by a Greek bank. The funds raised in the senior preferred issue will be allocated according ton the bank’s green bond framework, issued earlier this year.

According to NBG’s green bond framework, proceeds from green bond offerings will be used by the bank to finance or refinance loans and investments for equipment, development, manufacturing, construction, operation, distribution and maintenance of renewable energy projects, including onshore wind energy, solar thermal energy and small hydro projects. The framework states that eligible assets are expected to contribute towards the achievement of SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

Pavlos Mylonas, NBG CEO, said:

“With this landmark transaction, NBG demonstrates its firm commitment to support the green economy and reiterates its strategic direction as the Bank for Energy. The financing of projects in the energy sector, and above all in renewable energy where we hold a 40 per cent market share, is one of our key strategic goals, as we target financing of €3 billion over the next three years.”

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested €50 million in the issue. Founded in 1991, the EBRD was created to help develop Central and Eastern Europe in the post-Cold War era, and has since expanded its mandate, and is currently active in nearly 40 countries from central Europe to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. In July 2020, the EBRD announced that it is considering a new goal of devoting over 50 per cent of its annual investments to the green economy by 2025.

Andreea Moraru, EBRD’s Regional Head of Greece and Cyprus, said:

“This is an important and innovative transaction strengthening Greece’s capital market, and at the same time supporting the country’s banking sector and green economy transition. I believe that the EBRD’s contribution will have a significant demonstration effect for other Greek banks and the overall Greek market in promoting green finance and international standards.”