The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is extending a €50 million long-term loan to Grivalia Properties, one of the leading real estate investment companies, to bolster Greece’s crucial commercial property sector and support energy efficiency.
IFC’s investment will help Grivalia make significant renovations and energy efficiency improvements to its commercial properties across Greece. As well, the company will be the first in the country to seek IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification, a leading standard for green building. IFC’s financing package is designed to support the commercial property sector, which accounts for approximately 6 percent of the country’s GDP. During Greece’s recession, the sector has been hampered by falling rents, decreasing property values, and receding investor confidence.
“We are honored to be partnering up with one of the most prestigious international financing institutions active in Greece,” said George Chryssikos, Grivalias’s CEO. “Grivalia remains committed to value creation for its shareholders, business partners, employees, and local communities through selective investments in prime commercial real estate that adopt the best in sustainable business practices, including those with an immediate and positive impact on the environment.”
“This investment is IFC’s first agreement in Greece in the non-financial sector and it is in line with our strategy in the country,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. “The investment will help to increase investor confidence in the commercial real estate sector. Modern and energy efficient infrastructure will also help reduce energy costs and make businesses more competitive.”
Grivalia currently owns and operates almost 90 commercial properties, mostly in Greece, rented by companies such as banks, retailers, and manufacturers. IFC, partnering with Grivalia, will introduce EDGE green building standards to Greece. The buildings with EDGE certification need to consume 20 percent less energy than the local benchmark. Such improvements will not only help Greece to work on achieving its climate change targets, but also enhance the overall competitiveness of the private sector companies by reducing energy consumption and costs, according to IFC.
Greece, as a developed economy, has graduated from the World Bank Group’s standard lending programs. However, in 2015, at the request of the Greek government, IFC’s Board of Governors endorsed IFC’s engagement in Greece. IFC continues to evaluate investment opportunities in financial services, infrastructure development, and other sectors. Its aim is to restore confidence for investors, support private-sector-led growth, help the country attract foreign investment, and promote domestic investments. Since IFC’s re-engagement, it has invested $280 million in seven projects.