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Algeria banks to finance 12-bn-euro housing build

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(ALGIERS) - Public banks in Algeria are to finance the building of more than 250,000 new homes by the end of 2014 to the tune of 12 billion euros, the head of the CPA bank said Sunday.

Credit populaire d'Algerie, designated as lead bank in the deal, signed an agreement on Sunday with the National Company of Real Estate Promotion (ENPI) to finance the construction of more than 150,000 housing units, APS news agency quoted CPA chairman Mohamed Djellab as saying.

Another accord was inked at the end of April with the National Agency for Housing Improvement and Development (AADL) to finance the building of 100,000 public housing units, the agency said.

AADL has projected to build a total of 150,000 homes by the end of next year.

Djellab said the agreements were "the biggest financing operation in the history of Algeria," APS reported.

"These agreements... are aimed at changing the way construction is financed by getting public banks more involved," Housing Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune said.

Oil- and gas-rich Algeria has been grappling with a housing shortage for years.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika promised to build more than one million homes under a 2010-2014 development plan, but construction is slow and there have been allegations of corruption.

CPA is one of six public banks in Algeria.

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