The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development elected Thomas Mirow as its new president on Monday at its annual meeting where shareholders agreed to consider expanding lending to include Turkey.
To read stories from the May 18-19 meeting click on [ID:L18651543]
Following are comments from key speakers:
NEW EBRD PRESIDENT AND GERMAN DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER, THOMAS MIROW
On Eastern Europe:
“After a period of rapid growth, the question of sustainability is at stake, and the dangers of inflation in some (eastern European) countries are even more significant than in other parts of the world.”
On the EBRD’s future:
“In a situation of turmoil, a bank like the EBRD adds value because it is very solid, it has a high level of political trust, it can furnish what markets need most, which is confidence and trust”.
“The Bank’s activities in Turkey must not detract from the performance of its tasks in the current countries of operations”.
OUTGOING EBRD PRESIDENT, JEAN LEMIERRE
On EBRD’s future:
“There is no concern about (the EBRD’s future). It’s a clear roadmap”
“The bank is good because the bank is focused. I think Turkey will not distract the bank from delivering on its madate.”
On Russian criticism:
“I’d like to reassure Russia and Belarus -- the level of investments is high. It will be used at a higher level over time... But the bank should not reduce its standards, ever. The capacity should be used only if there are good, sound, fit-well with market economy projects and not at any cost.”
On Australia’s withdrawal:
“We should unite not antagonise. I’m sad... We loose your commitment and expertise for the region”.
EBRD’S CHIEF ECONOMIST, ERIK BERGLOF
“The growth in some countries, particularly in the CIS, has come in well above what we thought.”
“What’s really coming up as the major concern in the region is inflation. It is related to a weaker fiscal stance in many countries.”
U.S. TREASURY UNDER SECRETARY, DAVID MCCORMICK On the EBRD’s mandate:
“The EBRD has a very clearly defined mission which it has executed successfully. The question is that if the mandate expands, then we have some possibility of redundancy (with other policy lenders).
“Turkey stands out as a successful democracy within Europe... We think it’s very important that a decision to expand the mandate to any country needs to be thought out in a broader context.”
“The idea of a dividend and a return to the shareholders has a lot of symbolic value. We expect the dividend idea will be revisited (next year).”
RUSSIAN DEPUTY FINMIN, DMITRY PANKIN
On EBRD’s profit plan:
“There is a big demand for loans from the bank in many countries. It becomes especially important now, when emerging market economies sometimes cannot raise financing from external markets due to the global financial problems.”
“If we raise the ratio of credits (versus liquid financial assets) there will be enough resources for Turkey, Russia and other countries.”
AUSTRALIAN DIRECTOR FOR THE EBRD, PETER REITH
On allocation of funds to Chernobyl:
“A dividend would have benefited EBRD shareholders equitably, where a distribution to the Chernobyl funds disproportionately benefits European and G8 donors.”
On electing the president:
“Whilst we are aware of an informal agreement that the head of the EBRD be European, it is unreasonable that the choice should be made by euro zone finance ministers to the exclusion of other shareholders”.
On EBRD’s future:
“With its soft window, investment grants, incentive payments, new donor activities and other developments, it is likely that in a few years this bank will be very different.”
TURKISH UNDERSECRETARY OF TREASURY, IBRAHIM CANAKCI
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