LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday it had increased its investments to a record 11 billion euros in 2020 to help companies across its region mitigate the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic. In its annual operational statement, the development bank said Turkey overtook Egypt to reclaim the top spot as the single biggest recipient country, receiving 1.7 billion euros in investments of which just over half went to local banks. The outlook for Turkey had generally improved, said Jurgen Rigterink, the EBRD’s vice president. “When you look at Turkey, with the change of central bank governor, with the change of minister of finance it seems that the confidence is back and that is particularly visible in the strength of the Turkish lira,” said Rigterink. The EBRD focussed last year on providing emergency short-term liquidity, working capital, trade finance and restructuring for its existing clients affected by the crisis. The bank also recorded a small profit of around 100 million euros in 2020, according to Rigterink, down from a net profit of 1.4 billion euros in 2019. The EBRD is due to publish its full financial results in a few weeks time. Majority owned by G7 top economic powers, the EBRD invests in 38 economies including central and eastern Europe as well as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in Africa. 2020 2019 Annual Bank Investment (ABI) (€ billion) 11.0 10.09 Number of projects 411 452 ABI by region (€ billion) Central Asia 1.15 1.38 Central Europe and the Baltic states 1.41 1.47 Cyprus and Greece 0.93 0.64 Eastern Europe and the Caucasus 1.93 2.06 South-eastern Europe 1.76 1.71 Southern and eastern Mediterranean 2.13 1.85 Turkey 1.68 1.00 (Reporting by Karin Strohecker; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
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