World Bank to in­vest in Greek projects

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY KA­TE­RINA SOKOU

WASH­ING­TON – Af­ter al­most a year of wait­ing be­cause of po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic un­cer­tainty, the World Bank is in Greece to sup­port in­vest­ments and through them the growth of Greek econ­omy.

Of­fi­cials from its in­vest­ment arm, the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC), have ar­rived in Greece seek­ing in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in in­fras­truc­ture, en­ergy, lo­gis­tics and the credit sec­tor. Kathimerini has learned that the IFC is even con­sid­er­ing whether to par­tic­i­pate in the re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion of Greek banks, a move that would lend the ef­fort some pres­tige and in­spire con­fi­dence among pri­vate in­vestors.

The IFC de­ci­sion to take an ac­tive role in Greece was reached last De­cem­ber but im­ple­men­ta­tion was put off un­til the coun­try’s fu­ture in the eu­ro­zone and its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Euro­pean Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment be­came clear – given that the IFC will be co­op­er­at­ing with the EBRD in Greece.

The de­ci­sion was ac­tu­ally taken in de­fi­ance of the IFC’s char­ter, which pro­vides for in­vest­ment only in de­vel­op­ing na­tions, hence it will have a lim­ited pres­ence. It will fol­low the pat­tern of in­vest­ments in South Korea af­ter the Asian cri­sis, a prece­dent that helped to­ward the de­ci­sion in fa­vor of in­vest­ing in Greece.

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