Reuters: Chakrabarti wins second term as head of EBRD development bank
Britain's Suma Chakrabarti won a second four-year term as head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Wednesday, easily defeating a challenge from Poland's central bank governor and former prime minister Marek Belka, according to Reuters.
Chakrabarti, who won some 90% of shareholders' votes at the annual EBRD meeting in London, said the bank must maintain its presence in Russia, where it suspended new lending after the West imposed sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Reuters wrote.
"We have got a huge challenge ahead of us," Chakrabarti, 57, a former British civil servant, said after his re-election.
Read alsoBloomberg: Sanctions won't push EBRD out of Russia, Bank's President saysThe EBRD continues to manage a Russian loan portfolio of more than EUR 5 billion, but maturing projects and stake sales mean this has been falling rapidly and could be gone altogether in around five years if the rate of shrinkage stays constant.
"We always review these situations but for now I think it's important that we maintain our capacity," Chakrabarti said.
"We will always need presence because Russia is an important place for us. We need to retain our links to the Russian private sector, Russian administration as well to talk about wider issues as well beyond just new lending," he said.
Read alsoEBRD could bid for Ukraine's largest chemical plant in OdesaThe EBRD, set up in 1991 to invest in the former Soviet economies of eastern Europe, has grown considerably over the last decade and now spends around EUR 9 billion ($10.30 billion) a year in 36 countries from Morocco to Mongolia.