Peru May Get 'Big Chunk' of EIB Loans for Energy

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"Peru is an investment-grade country with a lot of energy resources."

The European Investment Bank may invest "a big chunk" of its 2.8 billion euro ($4 billion) budget for Latin American projects in Peru during the next couple of years, Vice President Plutarchos Sakellaris said.

The EIB, as the European Union's lending arm is known, is prepared to invest in Peruvian energy, transport and agricultural projects, Sakellaris said in a Dec. 18 interview in Lima. The bank's mandate includes lending to EU companies investing in the Andean country and financing projects that help reduce the impact of climate change.

"Peru is an investment-grade country with a lot of energy resources," Sakellaris said. "This points to a lot of good investment projects."

Peruvian President Alan Garcia has said that he wants the country to tap its hydroelectric potential and seek foreign investment to improve its ports, roads and railways. Investments by Spain's Endesa SA, the largest electricity generator in Peru, and France's GDF Suez SA are part of $10 billion in new energy projects the government expects over the next seven years.

The Luxembourg-based bank, which has assets of close to 350 billion euros, will lend about 75 billion euros this year, mainly to projects in the EU, Sakellaris said. Lending to Latin America totaled 2.4 billion euros between 1993 and 2007.

Peru's sol was little changed today, closing at 2.8840 per U.S. dollar. The sol has gained 8.7% this year, the sixth-best performance among 26 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

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