Bloomberg News

EBRD Seeks Partners to Bolster Greece-Stricken Countries

October 13, 2012

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to seek support tomorrow from other lenders for its program to bolster countries hurt by Greece’s economic turmoil.

The London-based lender will meet with officials from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank in Tokyo, President Suma Chakrabarti said in a phone interview in the city today. The development bank may put about 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) into the area over the next two years, Jonathan Charles, a spokesman, said later.

“We’ll try to agree that there is a common analysis of the problem and a common desire to do something about it together,” Chakrabarti said. “In the next two months, through to the end of the year probably, we’ll try to work up what the details of that plan would be.”

Southeastern Europe has struggled to shield itself from Greece’s fiscal and economic crisis, which has led to drops in investment in neighboring countries. The lender, set up in 1991 to support the development of market economies after the collapse of communist regimes, is looking to work with states including Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania and Macedonia, Chakrabarti said.

“It’s not about Greece but about its imprint on the region,” Chakrabarti said. “If you look at the banking sectors for many of these countries, Greek subsidiaries take up quite a large share, sometimes 20 to 30 percent.”

The development bank works in 29 countries from central Europe to central Asia financing projects intended to help nations transition to market economies and democratic societies, according to its website. It’s owned by 63 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank, the website says.

The EBRD is looking for ways to encourage private investment in southeastern Europe and encouraging governments to make changes so that they’re better placed to benefit from an improvement in the global economy in 2014, Chakrabarti said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Rose in Tokyo at rrose10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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