The EBRD’s Board of Directors has approved a convertible loan of up to €30 million to Šiaulių Bankas to support its lending activities and strengthen its capital base.
Part of the EBRD response to the current difficult market conditions, the loan will enable Šiaulių Bankas to ensure a continuous flow of finance to the real economy in Lithuania.
Šiaulių Bankas is one of the leading lenders to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Lithuania with a strong regional network of branches. It is one of the four banks selected via a competitive tender to disburse SME oriented funding provided by the Lithuanian government.
The proceeds of the EBRD loan will enable Šiaulių Bankas to increase the availability of credits to local businesses Lithuania, thus leveraging Lithuanian government funds to support local SMEs.
The loan will also enable Šiaulių Bankas to expand its lending to municipal borrowers. In addition the funds will support Šiaulių Bankas’ capital base. The loan is convertible in part or in whole in Šiaulių Bankas shares.
“Supporting the development of SMEs through improved access to banking finance is one of the EBRD key priorities in the current challenging environment. The EBRD loan will support further Šiaulių Bankas in its drive to provide the much needed financing to local businesses and municipal borrowers, while boosting the confidence in the banking sector overall”, said Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions.
“This loan will send a positive signal to small and medium-sized businesses, the development of which in our country has been lately hindered by the shortage of funds. By making rational use of additional credit resources, Šiaulių Bankas is planning to invest the obtained funds in business promotion thus making an impact on the overall business processes taking place in the country”, said Algirdas Butkus, the Chairman of the Board of Šiaulių Bankas.
The EBRD has been a shareholder of Šiaulių Bankas since 2005, currently holding a 16.06 per cent stake.