EBRD to invest more than EUR200m in Russia's financial sector

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is going to invest more than EUR200m in Russia's financial sector in 2002, Kurt Geiger, the EBRD director, announced at the forum "The Banking Sector and the Market of Fixed Income in Russia" in Moscow today. He noted that the bank invested EUR200m in this sector last year and it plans a slight rise in investments this year. In total, over the next 24 months, the EBRD is going to allocate EUR700 to 800 million for Russia's financial sector.

The EBRD director stressed that the development of the Russian economy required reforms in the banking sector. The faster the banking reforms are conducted, the more rapid economic growth in Russia will be, he was quoted as saying. According to Geiger, about $75bn are circulating outside the banking system in this country and these funds could be used for financing the real economy sector. The EBRD official reported that the volume of deposits in Russian banks was 11.5 percent of the GDP, and 60 percent of the total banking assets in Russia belonged to fully or partially state-owned banks.

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