According to Alain Pilloux, EBRD's Vice President for Banking, the bank has invested in Lebanon $75 million so far and this amount will reach more than $100 million by the end of its first year of operation in Lebanon. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to continue financing projects in Lebanon by increasing the investment to $200 million by next year.

EBRD plans to finance the development of three local industrial zones by providing loans to the government in partnership with EIB, the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank. These zones are part of the CIP program (Capital Investment Program) which was presented at the CEDRE donor conference in Paris on 06 April 2018.

Some of the main targeted sectors which will be financed by EBRD are the energy sector particularly renewable energy, water resources, infrastructure, electricity plans developed by the private sector, banking sector, such as credit lines.

EBRD intends to find local partners so for the first stage it will work closely with Lebanese banks. "By teaming up with local banks as intermediaries it is easier to reach small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Later on, we will work directly with local businesses," said Pilloux.

Lebanon became an EBRD country of operation since September 2017. It has engaged with a number of Lebanese banks, particularly Bank Audi and Fransabank.

EBRD, established in 1991 as an international financial institution to invest in different projects and to extend credit lines to commercial banks. The bank offers a broad range of financial instruments mostly in 3 forms: loans, equity and guarantees.

According to EBRD's website, in Lebanon they focus on the following objectives:

  • Supporting private sector competitiveness by improving the environment for private sector development and increasing the scope of available financial instruments,
  • Promoting sustainable energy supply, fostering energy sector reforms and enhancing energy efficiency,
  • Enhancing the quality and efficiency of public service delivery and supporting private sector participation in public infrastructure.

For more information about EBRD's operation in Lebanon please read our respective article.

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Source: The Daily Star

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