EBRD to boost investments

By Anthony Williams
@ebrdtony

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Bank appoints Alain Pilloux as Managing Director to run its business with enterprises

The EBRD is stepping up its support for real economies throughout eastern Europe, bringing together all the Bank’s corporate activities under one umbrella with a view to increasing sharply its investments in enterprises.

Senior EBRD banker Alain Pilloux has been appointed Managing Director for a new group that includes the Bank’s activities in Manufacturing and Services, Technology, Agribusiness, Private Equity/Venture Capital, Property and Tourism, and services to mid-sized and small businesses. Alain Pilloux previously headed the Bank’s operations in Russia.

In response to the global economic crisis, the EBRD will continue to provide an increased level of much-needed financial support to the financial, energy and infrastructure sectors. Last year the bank increased its business volume by over 50 per cent to €8 billion.

This latest move underscores the EBRD’s conviction that real economies in the region need additional support to withstand the aftershocks of the sharpest economic downturn since the collapse of communism.

“Our support to economies struggling with the financial crisis remains steadfast. With this change we are able to focus more effectively on the needs of the real economies,” Mr Pilloux said.

The corporate recovery in the EBRD region is expected to be sluggish at best. Even as GDP levels on average start to rise, the human dimension of the crisis still lies ahead. In the face of a lack of commercial financing, defaults and unemployment are bound to rise.

The EBRD’s corporate strategy will focus on supporting viable industries, providing finance to help enterprises become more competitive and on widening the industrial base, diversifying away from an over-dependence on a limited number of products.

“Our aim is to support businesses, bolster reforms and help economies diversify and to add value to products,” Varel Freeman, First Vice-President for Banking, added. “We want to create jobs and to improve the livelihoods of millions who have made sacrifices in the last 20 years”, he said.

 
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