EBRD says Turkey now biggest recipient of funds
DAILY NEWS PhotoTurkey, where the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has been active for only five years, has become the largest individual recipient of EBRD financing. Investments rose to 1.4 billion euros in 2014 from 920 million euros in the previous year, the EBRD said by a written statement on late Jan. 14.
The rise in EBRD financing to 8.9 billion euros from 8.5 billion euros in 2013 came despite a sharp fall in its investments in Russia following guidance from shareholders in July that they would, for the time being, consider no new projects in the country, said the Bank.
“As a result the Bank was able to invest more strongly in other countries that it serves. Demand is expected to remain high in 2015 with investments roughly in line with 2014 levels,” it stated.
Financing for Russia accounted for just seven percent of the total last year, with investments falling to slightly over 600 million euros from 1.8 billion euros in 2013.
The EBRD’s investments increased in 2014 as emerging economies continued to suffer due to events surrounding Russia and Ukraine, a stubborn lack of recovery in the eurozone and the global market turbulence that erupted towards the end of the year, the Bank said.
There was a strong increase in activity for Central Asia, particularly in Kazakhstan, where the EBRD teamed up with the authorities to help re-energize the reform process, the EBRD said.
Investments also increased in countries in the Balkans, the Caucasus and in eastern Europe, where the EBRD re-engaged energetically with Ukraine after the new administration embarked on a program of economic reform. Kiev also signed up to an Anti-Corruption Initiative, a major step forward in its bid to improve the investment climate.
New lending as well as renewed commitments to Ukraine exceeded 1.2 billion euros, including support for road transport as the EBRD resumed lending to the public sector, the bank said. The Bank has become involved in lending to upgrade Ukraine’s gas transmission system.
The EBRD continued to build up its presence in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where its portfolio has now topped 1.5 billion euros across Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt as well. 2014 investments in Egypt, by far the largest economy in the region, rose to 593 million euros, primarily in the private sector, from 151 million euros in 2013.
In regard to economic resilience, the Bank concluded agreements with authorities on measures to improve the investment climate and governance standards in Albania, Moldova and Serbia, in addition to launching the Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine.