The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) committed €1.43bn for new loan and equity investments in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the six months ending June 30, up 16% from €1.23bn in the first half of 2003. Disbursements rose to €1.52bn from €861mn.

The EBRD’s first-half profit after provisions was €189.8mn, compared with €84.3mn a year earlier, reflecting higher returns on  equity investments and treasury activities combined with lower provisions and administrative expenses. Provisions for losses were €20mn, compared with €26.7mn in 2003. As of June 30, the bank had authorised capital of €20bn, paid-in capital and reserves of €6.6bn, and cumulative provisions on its banking portfolio of €1.1bn.

The EBRD invested in 42 projects in the first half, introducing, for example, a new investment product in the Polish real estate market, supporting cross-border investment in the pharmaceutical industry between Russia and Serbia & Montenegro, and helping upgrade the water and wastewater sector in Uzbekistan. All told, the bank mobilised an additional €4.3bn from external financiers in the first half, compared with €1.7bn a year earlier.

Steven Kaempfer, vice-president, finance, says that the bank’s operational performance for the first half of the year was on track and the financial results were solid, while the pipeline of potential new projects continues to be robust across the region.