Council of Europe bank gets capital hike to help with Ukraine crisis
PARIS (Reuters) – The Council of Europe Development Bank’s shareholder governments have agreed to increase its capital as it boosts lending to help members cope with the Ukraine crisis, the bank said on Friday.
The Paris-based multilateral lender was founded in 1956 to help finance the resettlement of refugees and displaced people after World War II.
With 30 billion euros ($31.6 billion) in assets, it lends to member governments to finance social investments like schools, hospitals and public housing.
With a particular focus on helping its 42 member states deal with migrant flows, the bank has already made 1.3 billion euros in loans this year to help countries neighbouring Ukraine cope with the influx of refugees due to the war.
“This is nearly one-third of our lending volume for 2022, which shows the bank’s capacity to react quickly to emergency situations,” the bank’s governor Carlo Monticelli said in an interview.
A capital increase was needed to maintain lending for its core activities over the coming years and in anticipation of new projects in Ukraine once its membership, currently in the works, is finalised.
Shareholder governments therefore agreed to increase the bank’s capital base by 4.25 billion euros, including 1.2 billion of fresh paid-in capital.
Founding members France, Germany and Italy are the bank’s largest shareholders, which a combined 51% stake.
($1 = 0.9507 euros)
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Editing by Louise Heavens)