EconSource: EBRD Plans EUR 900 Million Package for Turkey, Jordan
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said Wednesday is planning to invest EUR 900 million euros ($986 million) as part of international efforts to tackle the refugee crisis.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said the financing will focus on infrastructure and private sector investment projects in Turkey and Jordan. “Among the countries where the EBRD invests, Turkey currently houses more than 2 million refugees from Syria alone, while Jordan has an estimated 1.4 million people who have fled their homes,” the EBRD said in a statement. Chakrabarti said the bank “would be able to finance up to EUR 500 million in new transactions subject to mobilizing an additional EUR 400 million in grants” from donors. The funding aims to create economic opportunities for refugees and host populations and to make the host economies more robust and resilient. Also on Wednesday, European Union countries approved a EUR 3 billion ($3.32 billion) fund for Turkey to improve living conditions for refugees. [AFP, Hurriyet, EBRD, 2/4/2016]
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has announced it will pay only partial salaries to all government employees except security personnel as it struggles with an economic crisis. The decision was taken “in order to ensure the continued distribution of part of the monthly salaries and allowances,” the KRG said in a statement late Wednesday. Going forward, the unpaid portion of the salaries and previously unpaid wages from last year will be considered “loans remaining with the government and will be returned later.” The cabinet approved other measures aimed at cutting costs and raising revenues, including public auctions of oil and oil products not exported via pipeline and holding employees responsible for expenses associated with government-provided vehicles. Public employees said the new measures would hit them hard. [AFP, 2/3/2016]
A consortium of international financiers has approved to lend Sonker, a private Egyptian storage and bunkering company, $341 million upgrade the country’s oil and gas infrastructure. The financing package includes a $72 million senior loan and $22 million mezzanine loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide a $70 million senior loan along and a $22 million mezzanine loan. The IFC will also mobilize $52.5 million from other investors. Egypt’s Commercial International bank will also provide $102 million in financing, which includes a $44 million local currency loan and a $30 million credit support instrument. Sonker aims to construct and operate a bulk-liquids terminal at Ain Sokhna Port on the Red Sea for import and storage of gasoil, liquefied petroleum gas, and liquefied natural gas. The company’s new infrastructure will help accommodate the docking of two floating storage and regasification units, the EBRD said. [Ahram Online, 2/4/2016]
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI is unveiling the first phase of Morocco’s Noor solar power plant on Thursday in the southern town of Ouarzazate. The first phase, in which the solar power complex was connected to the power grid in Morocco, cost $3.9 billion and is part of a larger project that is expected to provide 1.2 million Moroccans with power. The Climate Investment Fund, a major funder of the project, says it will be the world’s biggest concentrated solar plant. Noor is expected to have a combined capacity of 2 gigawatts by 2020 after all the units are complete. The complex will cost about $9 billion and will be spread over at least four locations in Morocco, according to the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy. [AP, Bloomberg, The Guardian, 2/4/2016]
Abnormally dry weather across North Africa is threatening to cause more financial trouble for Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, as each country seeks to spur more economic growth and cut public spending. The three countries are among the world’s biggest wheat importers. Morocco’s planning agency estimates that a drop in agricultural output will drag down gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 1.3 percent this year, against a government projection of 3 percent, from an estimated 4.4 percent in 2015. The agency said a drought would also increase government spending this year, raising doubts over plans to cut the budget deficit. In Algeria, officials played down the impact of any rain shortfall on the country’s economy. In Tunisia, President of the Tunisian farmers organization Al-Majid Ezzar said it was too soon to gauge the implications of the dry weather. [Reuters, 2/4/2016]
Also of interest
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Italy eyes energy projects in Egypt | DNE
Italian business delegation cuts Egypt visit short as student found dead | Bloomberg
Russia’s Gazprom, Syrian envoy discuss post-war cooperation | Reuters
Turkey may double trade with EU with new customs deal | Hurriyet