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EBRD Announces Lending Priorities

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced it is focusing on granting loans for the development of the construction sector and food industry in Azerbaijan, according to Neil Mckain, head of the EBRD office in Baku.

In 2011, EBRD decided to allocate $750 million for the implementation of large-scale transport projects on the reconstruction of key regional highways or roads bordering Georgia and Iran.

''With regard to the transport sector, we allocate funds for the development of regional transport infrastructure in the country, as the basic domestic infrastructure is practically developed,'' Mckain added.

Mckain also noted that negotiations to open credit lines for Azerbaijani banks are underway. ''It is planned to expand the list of banks, to which loans will be allocated,'' he said, declining to cite the names of the banks due to the ongoing negotiation process.

Mckain says the EBRD is also working to allocate mortgage loans to two Azerbaijani banks - Unibank and Muganbank.

EBRD works with nine banks, six microfinance institutions and three non-bank credit institutions in Azerbaijan. The bank has implemented 70 projects in the domestic financial sector.

The current EBRD portfolio in Azerbaijan amounts to $608 million. The total volume of credits issued by the bank in 2011 amounted to $34 million.

The bank signed loan agreements for nine projects in Azerbaijan's public sector totaling over $1.229 billion as of January 1, 2012.

The Implementation of eight projects through the EBRD with loans totaling $479.45 million has already been completed, while the project to repair and upgrade roads, under which the bank has allocated $750 million, will begin this year.

EBRD is a financial institution whose funds are used to support democracy and market economies in 30 countries in Central Europe and Central Asia. It is owned by 61 countries and two international organizations.

Source: Azernews

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