St. Petersburg, June 3, 2021 — At the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Gazprombank and Acron Group, one of world’s leading vertically-integrated manufacturers of mineral fertilizers, signed a cooperation agreement within the framework of ESG- (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) compliant investments.
The focus of the agreement is for both parties to consider the potential for Acron to secure financing on beneficial terms that’s compliant with both ESG principles and applicable government support measures. What’s primarily at issue are investment projects that meet ESG standards, for example — those envisioning a reduction in greenhouse gas emission factors, pollutants, etc. The document also outlines the parties’ intended cooperation in the structuring and issuance of “green-label” social-impact bonds and experience-sharing in preparation of the respective reports.
“At Gazprombank, we view support for projects in the field of mineral-fertilizer manufacturing as one of the main and most promising business areas for project financing. With our partners from Acron, we understand that the market for ESG financing is only just taking shape, so we’re acting as pioneers of a sort. That said, ESG is gradually ceasing to be an exclusively image-building consideration, so I’m confident that incorporating this element into new projects will lay solid groundwork for the future,” said Alexey Belous, Deputy Chairman of Gazprombank’s Management Board.
“For Acron, investments in ecological and social projects — as well as in corporate management projects — is a guarantee ensuring the company’s fundamental sustainability and profitability. We’re grateful to Gazprombank for their support of our aspirations and assistance in the implementation of the strategy we’ve mapped out,” noted Alexander Popov, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Acron PJSC.
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Gazprombank ranks among the TOP 3 leaders of the Russian banking sector by main volume indicators (according to INTERFAX-100. Banks of Russia, www.finmarket.ru/database/rankings/), as well as among the largest financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe.
Gazprombank provides a wide range of services to corporate and private clients. The Bank provides services to key sectors of the Russian economy — gas, oil, chemical and petrochemical, metallurgy, electric power, mechanical engineering, transport, construction, communications, the agro-industrial complex, trade and other industries. The Bank boasts many years of unique experience in the arrangement of project financing and placement of debt instruments on the Russian and international capital markets; the provision of financial and advisory services involving project, corporate and debt financing, as well as experience in the field of corporate investment management both in Russia and abroad.
Gazprombank’s retail business is focused on providing modern high-tech products and services. As of the beginning of 2021, the Bank was providing services to roughly 5 mln individual customers. The Bank’s retail loan portfolio as of year-end 2020 stood at more than RUB 660 bln, with a retail deposit portfolio in excess of RUB 770 bln.
Acron Group is one of the leading vertically-integrated manufacturers of mineral fertilizers in Russia and the world. The Group’s chemical factories are located in Veliky Novgorod (Acron PJSC) and Smolensk Region (Dorogobuzh PJSC). The Group is carrying out its own extraction of phosphate rock in Murmansk Region (NWPC JSC) and implementing a project involving the development of a potassium field in Perm Territory (VPC JSC). It has its own transport and logistics infrastructure, including three port terminals on the Baltic Sea, as well as distributor networks in Russia and China. Acron PJSC’s affiliated company, North Atlantic Potash Inc. (NAP), has production licenses and a reconnaissance permit for 10 deposit sections of Prairie Evaporite potassium salts in the Province of Saskatchewan (Canada). Acron also possesses a minority stake (19.8%) in Grupa Azoty S.A., a Polish company and one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of chemical products.
In 2020, the Group’s sales volume amounted to 7.8 mln tons of core product. Deliveries were made to 74 countries worldwide. Russia, Brazil, Europe and the USA make up the Group’s primary sales markets.
In 2020, the Group’s consolidated revenue per IFRS amounted to RUB 119,864 mln ($1,661 mln), with an EBITDA of RUB 35,311 mln ($489 mln). Acron PJSC shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and its global depositary receipts — on the London Stock Exchange (ticker AKRN). Acron Group has more than 11,000 employees.