The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has provided Metro Group Kazakhstan with a loan to expand retail facilities and raise the quality of the country’s retail sector, which will result in better shopping experience for the people of Kazakhstan, especially, in the country’s more remote areas.
The EBRD is extending a €80 million (US$ 105 million) loan to WRE LLP and Metro Cash & Carry LLP, the Kazakh subsidiaries of Metro Group – the major German retailer.
Parts of this 7-year loan will also be available in local currency, in line with the EBRD’s focus on increasing local currency lending in its countries of operations.
The EBRD’s financing will be used to build up cash and carry stores across the country. Importantly, locally-produced products will comprise nearly a half of the whole product range on sale in the new Metro stores, which will promote further development of local producers.
Today’s loan announcement was made on the eve of the EBRD’s 20th Annual Meeting in Astana where its participants will discuss the lessons that have been learnt from the crisis within the economies where the EBRD invests.
Among other key topics on the current agenda they will also focus on the ways to improve food supply chains, and develop supportive financial instruments to meet the food security challenge.
“With this key investment, the Bank’s support is aimed at continuing to provide assistance to the country’s small businesses and helping local customers to have a reliable access to quality products. Our project will improve the retail sector and will play an active role in strengthening further development of food supply chains in Kazakhstan,” said Varel Freeman, EBRD Vice President.
In about four decades, Metro Cash & Carry has grown from a Western Europe-centred wholesale concept to a leading international player in self-service wholesale, operating about 700 outlets in 30 countries.
Since the beginning of its operations in Kazakhstan, the EBRD has invested over €2.8 billion in over 130 projects in various sectors of the Kazakh economy, mobilising additional investments in excess of about €6 billion, with about 70 per cent of the projects’ being investments into the development of the country’s private sector.