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EBRD plans to invest over €700 mln in the Western Balkans

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to invest over €700 million in the Western Balkans this year, up by around 12% from 2012, with much of that going to Serbia, the Balkan Business Newsreported citing an interview with EBRD’s representative Claudio Viezzoli. The London-based lender intends to close around 60 deals there in 2013, the vast majority of which will be in the private sector and with local enterprises, according to Viezzoli. Serbia should represent about 50% of EBRD’s targeted business volume in the region in 2013 with the remaining countries absorbing the rest, he said. “The bank has particularly strong pipelines in Bosnia and Macedonia, where we expect to sign above €100 million in each country. The rest will be achieved in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro,” Viezzoli was quoted as saying. In 2013, the EBRD plans to invest around €120 million in the energy sector in the Western Balkans, focusing on renewable energy sources, state-of-the-art clean power generating technology and efficient transmission and distribution networks.