World Bank to extend loans to Greek companies

Article originally published in Het Financieele Dagblad on September 7, 2015 by Gerben van der Marel. This is an abstract, full article available through the FD website.

The World Bank will offer more help to relatively wealthy countries going through a crisis, like Greece. Talks are underway with the Greek private sector regarding a ‘substantial’ package of investments, according to Frank Heemskerk, Executive Director at the development bank in Washington.

FotoBehind the scenes, the World Bank has been active in Greece for some time, says Heemskerk. ‘Many institutions don’t work. The country is corrupt. We have allowed that to happen in Europe. We have all looked the other way.’ The Greek crisis has a large impact in the region, he says. Countries like Bulgaria, where the World Bank has been a player for a long time, feel the pain.

Remainder in Dutch.

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World Bank CFO Badré in the Netherlands

Last week, the World Bank’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Bertrand Badré was in the Netherlands for a roadshow covering banks and institutional investors. Accompanied by Frank Heemskerk, the Netherlands Executive Director, he visited potential creditors in the Netherlands. Part of the mission was to look for the financial firepower of Dutch pension funds that can possibly be leveraged by the World Bank Group.

‘We present to ABP and PGGM what we do’, Badré says. ‘Banking isBadre not about making money, but about dealing with future risks. Infrastructure, for instance, is an investment category for institutional investors. We are well-placed to finance infrastructure in developing countries and can leverage investment from institutional investors. Banks are cautious. So we have to turn to pension funds, but also the BlackRocks and AXAs of this world. They don’t come to us, so we go to them.’

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