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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) committed €1.97bn for new loan and equity investments in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in the nine months ended September 30, compared with €2.53bn in the same period last year. Based on the current pipeline of projects likely to be signed this year, the volume for 2003 as a whole is expected to be in line with the €3.9bn level achieved in 2002.

The EBRD invested in 58 projects in the first three quarters. During the third quarter, these projects included helping to privatise Montenegro’s largest aluminium company, arranging finance for the expansion of a brewery in Russia’s Urals region, investing in a Polish property fund, and providing finance to restructure the debt and modernise the network of Central Asia’s largest telecommunications operator.

The EBRD’s profit after provisions for the first nine months was €216mn, compared with €210mn a year earlier, reflecting strong operating results and a net credit on provisions following recoveries or upgrades of some previously provisioned assets. As at September 30, the bank had authorised capital of €20bn, paid-in capital and reserves of €6.1bn, and cumulative provisions on its banking portfolio of €1.1bn.

Steven Kaempfer, vice-president, finance, says that the bank’s robust operational and financial performance for the first nine months of the year and the continued strength of the new project pipeline augurs well for business activity and results looking ahead.