European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to invest in 2019 in the East Partnership program projects in 6 former USSR countries €1.5-2Bn which corresponds to the bank’s average investment amounts in these countries for the recent years. Thuis was advised by Interfax-Ukraine referring Francis Malige to Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus for the EBRD.
The matter is about Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. “In this region we lay out €1.5-2Bn a year. The amount varies from state to state, and from year to year. Sometimes we invest more in Belarus and less in Ukraine, or more in Azerbaijan and less in Georgia. It all depends on a project. I hope such a scale would remain in future too”, said Mr Malige.
He also added that EBRD has no strictly stipulated plan of investments in each country. “The process goes bottom up. We try to detect projects being worth funding. First we find a transaction that could be interesting, attractive. If the deal is attractive, we fund it”, clarified the bank’s representative.
Speaking on the CIS countries’ national currencies devaluation observed recently, Mr Malige stressed that its impact on the bank sector exhibited various ways: “Say, in Georgia, devaluation was to some extent absorbed by the sector, while in Ukraine that process was rather more lingering, serious. Over a half of the banks are anyhow affected there”, noted Mr Malige.
“East Partnership is a project of the EU to develop international links with the six ex-USSR nations – Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan Armenia, Georgia, and Belarus.
EBRD is a major international financial investor in Ukraine. Since its start of activities in the state in 1993, the bank’s aggregate liabilities amounted to but €12.2Bn in 377 ventures. Now EBRD funds several projects in the port and infrastructure sectors of Ukraine, including the construction of a grain terminal for a global raw material trader Cargill in the sea port of Yuzhny.
EBRD intends to implement in 2018 about 25-30 new funding projects in Ukraine. Of this total amount some 2-3 ones for €100-200M are to be realised in the transport sphere. In 2017 EBRD enlarged the Ukraine investments number by 37% comparing to 2016 – i.e. up to €800M.