March 12, 2020 / 11:52 AM / 18 days ago

EBRD readies emergency measures for virus-stricken firms

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday it was working on a package of measures to help companies across its region to mitigate the economic hit from the coronavirus spread.

The measures - which still have to be approved by its shareholders - included providing emergency short-term liquidity, working capital, trade finance and restructuring for its existing clients affected by the crisis, the bank said in a statement.

The EBRD did not give any detail on how big the package could be but it is expected to be voted on imminently, according to a spokesperson.

“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 south eastern Europe,” the statement said.

Majority owned by G7 top economic powers, the EBRD invests in 38 economies including central and eastern Europe as well as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in Africa.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker, edited by Julien Ponthus

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