The shareholders of the EBRD have overwhelmingly approved plans to prepare for its strategy for the five years to 2025.
The EBRD has already pledged to increase both the quality and quantity of its investments in the 38 economies where it already works.
The Bank invested over €9.5 billion a year over the last two years and is aiming to top the €10 billion marker for the first time in 2019, with further increases seen in the following years.
At the Bank’s Annual Meeting in Sarajevo, the EBRD’s Board Governors who represent the EBRD’s 69 shareholders, backed a programme of work that will form the basis of the EBRD’s strategy for the five years to 2025 which has be approved at the 2020 Annual Meeting in London.
Under that plan of work, the EBRD will reaffirm its “strong commitment to current countries of operations with the objective to enhance activity in order to maximize transition in these countries consistent with their evolving transition needs”.
The EBRD will also prepare for engagement with potential new countries of operations in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, where it has been investing since 2012.
The preparations also include evaluating whether the Bank should hold an additional crisis buffer of capital beyond its current business and prudential needs, in order to respond to unanticipated financial events.
According to the resolution passed by the Governors, the EBRD will also “Analyse potential future options for limited and incremental expansion into new countries of operations...such as a select number of African and other countries that are closely integrated with the Bank’s present geographical scope.”
Additionally, there would be an examination of potential options to return capital to shareholders through redemption of any surplus capital identified, including through a distribution to members, based on an analysis of the Bank’s financial position.
The Governors’ resolution stipulated that none of the work being undertaken should lead to the EBRD requiring additional capital contributions or compromise the AAA status of the Bank.
Any geographic expansion must also not be at the expense of the Bank’s work in current countries of operations.