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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has planned to invest up to US$1.1bn in some Middle East and North African (MENA) countries next year, to help bolster regional stability and spur growth
According to Reuters, EBRD vice-president for risk, Betsy Nelson revealed that the organisation has invested about US$527mn until now in 17 projects in countries including Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.
These investments range from energy projects to loans for private firms, said EBRD.
This included a US$27mn commitment to Morocco-based Capital North Africa Venture Fund, a US$24mn grant to Egypt’s Universal Metallurgical Company, a US$100mn loan to finance the construction of a 240 MW power plant in Amman, Jordan and US$40mn in funding to Kuwait Energy International to proceed with its gas flaring project in Egypt.
“We had to slow down investments due to political events, but we have the capacity to ramp up quickly, so we have planned an investment of about US$1.1bn for the region in 2014,” said Nelson.
Earlier this year, EBRD set up offices in Tunisia and Jordan.
The bank said it saw good growth opportunities in Jordan due to its relatively stable economy.
EBRD has partnered with Jordan’s Housing Bank for Trade and Finance and some other local banks to extend credit to SMEs, the news agency reported.