Center-invest Bank has secured a 3-year RUB745m loan from the Swiss fund Symbiotics to finance sustainable development projects. The loan agreement was signed on 14 December 2021. The funds will be used to finance new and established entrepreneurs whose businesses aim to address social challenges and are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and today’s environmental and social agenda.
The new loan can be used to meet customer demand for green finance: for solar power projects; to replace outdated equipment with energy-efficient models; and for energy-efficient renovations to improve housing stock.
“The bank is ending the year by obtaining new investment for southern Russia, creating new sustainable development opportunities for the regional economy,” said Lidia Simonova, Chairman of Center-invest Bank’s Executive Board. “The partnership with the international fund allows us to implement our ESG strategy successfully, and, together with our customers and partners, to make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Center-invest Bank is Symbiotics’ first Russian partner. The successful partnership began in 2019. The Symbiotics group specialises in promoting sustainable and inclusive finance and is a market leader for sustainable investments in Europe.
Center-invest Bank is the largest regional bank in southern Russia. It is one of Russia’s top 10 banks for financing sole traders and SMEs. It has high and stable ratings from Moody’s (Ва3) and АCRA (А), and has high positions in rankings produced by Forbes, The Banker and Expert, as well as awards from the Financial Times and Euromoney. Center-invest Bank is one of the first Russian financial institutions to enter the international social investment market and it is a pioneer and trendsetter for ESG banking in Russia. The bank has been a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values since 2019, and it is an active participant in the UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking.
Symbiotics is the leading market access platform for impact investing, dedicated to financing micro, small and medium enterprises and low- and middle-income households in emerging and frontier markets. Since 2005, Symbiotics has structured and originated some 5,000 deals for over 490 companies for more than USD7.5 billion.