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EBRD planning ’emergency liquidity’ for companies as coronavirus crisis deepens

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Offices of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced it is planning to step up its support for companies across its regions of operations to help them deal with the deepening impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The bank, which invests across 38 emerging economies, said it is preparing a package of measures to present to shareholders for approval.

The proposals are expected to include the establishment of a “resilience framework” for existing clients that would provide emergency short term liquidity, working capital, trade finance and restructuring for companies with strong business fundamentals temporarily affected by the crisis.

The response will put a premium on providing a rapid response to the needs of companies that are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus and the global economic turmoil that has ensued.

This new package of emergency measures comes as the EBRD is already pledging strong support generally for its existing countries of operations and follows a record level of investment of €10.1 billion in 2019.

The EBRD’s economists expect economic output to be affected across its regions of operations, with growth seen slowing especially in central Asia, in eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Russia and south eastern Europe.

Countries that are highly integrated into global supply chains, and in particular have direct dependencies on China and Europe, are likely to suffer most from the virus. The tourism industry is likely to be affected in many of the EBRD’s countries.

The recent slump in oil prices will also have an impact on oil producing countries in the EBRD regions and the flow of remittances from workers back to their home countries is also expected to slow.