Tunisia: EBRD Announces First Investments in Emerging Arab Democracies

Tunis — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched its first investment in emerging Arab democracies, saying it was preparing to invest in three projects in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco.

According to an EBRD press release a copy of which was received Thursday by TAP, the EBRD's Board of Directors, which represents the Bank's shareholders, approved, on September 18, three projects in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco.

The three projects are the first in a series of investments in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) which will be ramped up to 2.5 billion Euros, a year by 2015.

Tunisia will receive from the EBRD a 20-million-Euro commitment to the Maghreb Private Equity Fund III, sponsored by a Tunisian-Moroccan private equity firm.

The financing will be used to make equity and equity-related investments, primarily in small and medium-sized companies in the SEMED region.

"We have already built a strong pipeline of projects to support the region," said Mr. Hildegard Gacek, Managing Director of the SEMED region.

These projects involve essentially, the financial sector, providing SME finance via banks and equity funds, the energy sector, including energy efficiency, municipal services such as water and waste treatment, as well as infrastructure in co-operation with the private sector and involving private corporate sector in agribusiness, EBRD added.

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