Hungary ready to start talks on joining Eurasian Development Bank

By bne IntelliNews December 2, 2019

Hungary is ready to start talks on joining the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) as a full member, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said at a conference in Moscow on November 29.

Joining the EDB would open up new markets and sources of financing for Hungarian companies as well as create opportunities for new investments in the Hungarian economy, Varga said in a statement released by his ministry.

If the accession talks are successful, Hungary will join a capital-strong financial institution that international credit rating agencies say has a strong financial profile and whose operation is in line with generally accepted international practices, he added.

The EDB is an international financial institution founded by Russia and Kazakhstan in 2006 with a charter capital of $7bn to promote economic growth in its member states, extend trade and economic ties among them, and support integration in Eurasia through investment. Since it was founded, Armenia, Tajikistan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan have become full members.

In related news, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto met with International Investment Bank (IIB) chairman Nikolay Kosov in Budapest on Friday, ahead of a meeting of the lender's board of governors and representatives of its stakeholder countries. This is the highest level of decision makers of the bank.

Of the five international financial institutions headquartered in Europe, only the IIB is located in Central Europe IIB, Szijjarto said. The development bank relocated its headquarters from Moscow to Budapest last summer.

Hungary is the second-biggest shareholder in IBB with a 14.7% stake. The majority of the bank's member countries are Nato members, it added. IIB's members are Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Vietnam.

The International Investment Bank expects its lending portfolio to climb over €1bn by the end of this year, chairman Nikolay Kosov told journalists on Tuesday. Since its relocation, the IIB has assessed 21 projects with a total investment volume of €500mn and approved 19 of them with a value of €373mn.

The projects include ones in infrastructure, energy, metallurgy, the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, the food industry, and tourism.

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