articles | 06 June 2014

EBRD to focus on private sector investment

Mobilising private sector investment will be the main objective of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a senior official said recently, as the lender sets up shop in Cyprus.

“We want to gear up and set ourselves up very quickly,” EBRD managing director Jean-Marc Peterschmitt told reporters after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.

“We really now want to implement our priority which is really private sector focused, privatization, financial sector, corporate sector.”

The EBRD agreed in May to finance Cyprus for a limited period to help the island overcome the problems caused by the deep economic crisis.

The agreement provides for up to €700 million of financing to Cyprus over the next six years.

“I think the government is on track with the reform program but there remain many challenging issues and mobilizing private sector investment is really going to be our main objective and hopefully we can play a role by being a signal of regaining confidence in the economy here,” Peterschmitt said, adding that they were encouraged from what they have seen so far.

The EBRD appointed Libor Krkoska to head the Cyprus office. The EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies.

Direct investment generally ranges between €5 million and €230 million. The bank typically funds up to 35% of the project cost. The Bank invests only in projects that could not otherwise attract financing on similar terms.

The EBRD was created in 1991 to invest in the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe. In recent years, its membership has expanded to include Mongolia, Turkey and economies affected directly or indirectly by the Arab Spring such as Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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