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Central/Eastern Europe: Loans Provided To Croatia, Georgia, Moldova

London, 17 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) is to provide loans to municipal water authorities to tackle the problem of severe pollution in the Kastela Bay and the Puli areas along the Adriatic coast.

The drive to improve Croatia's coastal environment is backed by a 105 million Deutschmark ($70 million) loan from the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The money will allow HBOR to on-lend to water utilities for the improvement of sewage, waste treatment and water supply systems in towns on the coast including Split, Solin, Trogir, Kastela and Pula.

Johan Bastin, an EBRD executive, said the the program will help Croatia move towards meeting EU environmental standards.

The improvement program was declared a national environmental priority by Croatia's Parliament. HBOR President Anton Kovacev said the project will improve services that directly affect living conditions, and help create the development of "quality tourism."

Georgia Receives $12 Million For Small Businesses

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is to lend $12 million to private sector banks in Georgia so they can lend to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The EBRD said the program aims to boost the private sector and to help meet the need for sound private sector financial institutions.

The program, guaranteed by the Georgian government, will provide money for investment, working capital and trading finance.

An EBRD statement said the private sector in Georgia now accounts for about half the country's gross domestic product. It said there are now more than 65,000 registered small businesses, and almost 10,000 small-scale enterprises had been privatized by June of this year.

Georgia has a two-tier banking system created in 1991. It consists of the National Bank and about 60 small domestic commercial banks.

Program Intended To Privatize And Modernize Cement Plants

An ambitious program is underway in Central and Eastern Europe to help the privatization and development of enterprises that deal in cement and building materials.

As part of the program, the EBRD is providing a $90 million equity facility to a leading international building materials firm, Larfarge.

EBRD President Jacques de Larosiere said Lafarge's investment program will help the restructuring, privatization of modernization of essential parts of the cement and building material industry.

The first joint investment will finance the acquisition and upgrading of the Kujawy cement plant in northwest Poland.

Lafarge, a France-based firm, is a world leader in building materials with operations in more than 40 countries and 35,000 employees.

Moldova Builds New Danube Oil Terminal

The EBRD is providing $28 million as part of a finance package to fund the construction of a river-port oil terminal in Moldova.

The terminal, to be built on the Danube in southern Moldova, will increase the country's import flexibility.

It will include mooring facilities, pipelines, a storage area and a fuel pumping station. About 190 new jobs will be created and Moldovan construction firms will have the opportunity to tender for contracts.

The terminal venture will be a joint venture between the Moldovan state oil company, Tirex-Petrol, and Technovax S.A., a Greek concern.