EBRD bank says returns to profit on E. Europe recovery

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development returned to profit last year on economic recovery in the former Soviet bloc, the EBRD said on Monday.

"The bank is expected to report a net profit in excess of 1.0 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for 2010 after a net loss of 746 million euros in 2009," it said in a statement.

"This positive result comes as the EBRD's region begins to recover and is mainly due to an increase in the value of the bank's equity holdings, lower loan loss provisions and strong growth in net interest income on loans, whilst administrative expenditure was kept under control."

The London-based institution, which was formed in 1991 to help former communist nations in their transition to market economies, added that it had invested funds in a record 386 projects last year.

The EBRD usually invests in private enterprises together with commercial partners across its zone, that comprises nations like Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Total investment hit a record 9.0 billion euros last year, which compared with 7.9 billion euros in 2009.

"The EBRD has reached out more effectively than ever before to the economies that most need our support," EBRD President Thomas Mirow said in the statement.

"By sharply increasing the number of individual transactions the EBRD has further supported the process of economic transformation across its countries of operations, a crucial step to help protect the burgeoning economic recovery."

© 2011 AFP

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