The EBRD is a multinational financial institution which was founded in 1991 to help the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (NIS) to develop market-oriented economies. The EBRD has supported many joint ventures in these countries, particularly those with foreign sponsors. Co-financing is an important part of the EBRD's work. By the end of May 1995, the EBRD had approved 276 projects for a total of ECU 5.8 billion. This, together with other sources of finance, will provide a total investment of over ECU 18 billion for projects in the region. Private sector projects received 66% of total approved funding. Technical cooperation projects are another feature of the EBRD's activities and, by the end of April 1995, 38 cooperation fund agreements totalling over ECU 312 million had been concluded for this purpose between the EBRD and bilateral donors. 842 projects had been committed with a total estimated cost of ECU 200 million. The EBRD invests in a wide range of sectors, including finance, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, energy and power generation, natural resources, agriculture-related businesses, property and hotels. Examples of projects include: - Making available shares to the value of ECU 9.6 million to the Advent Fund, which provides capital and management guidance for private companies in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (the total project investment amounts to ECU 46.5 million); - A loan of ECU 35.1 million to Barum Continental, a Czech company, to upgrade its tyre production and retailing capacity (the total project investment amounts to ECU 189.3 million). The EBRD is increasingly working through local financial intermediaries in the region by lending to and investing in local financial institutions which support SMEs. By the end of May 1995, the EBRD had committed ECU 1.4 billion through 78 operations involving financial intermediaries.
Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia