TIRANA (Albania), March 12 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday it is planning to increase its support for companies across its regions of operations, including Southeast Europe, to help them deal with the deepening impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The bank, which invests across 38 emerging economies, is preparing a package of measures to present to shareholders for approval,” the EBRD said in a press release.
The proposals are expected to include the establishment of a “resilience framework” for existing clients that would provide emergency short term liquidity, working capital, trade finance and restructuring for companies with strong business fundamentals temporarily affected by the crisis.
“The response will put a premium on providing a rapid response to the needs of companies that are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus and the global economic turmoil that has ensued,” the bank explained.
The package of emergency measures comes as the EBRD is already pledging strong support generally for its existing countries of operations and follows a record level of investment of 10.1 billion euro ($11.4 billion) in 2019, the bank noted.
“The EBRD’s economists are expecting economic output to be affected right across its regions of operations, with growth seen slowing especially in Central Asia and also in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Russia and Southeastern Europe,” the lender said.
According to the EBRD, the countries that will be most affected by the virus are countries that are highly integrated into global supply chains, and in particular have direct dependencies on China and Europe. The tourism sector is likely to be affected in many of the EBRD countries of operation.
“The recent slump in oil prices will have also an impact on oil producing countries in the EBRD regions and the flow of remittances from workers back to their home countries is also expected to slow,” the bank noted.
($ = 0.88425 euro)