EBRD President visits Mongolia

By Sergiy Grytsenko

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A senior delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), led by President Thomas Mirow, is visiting Mongolia on 8-9 April. Mr. Mirow will be joined by Olivier Descamps, Managing Director for Turkey, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Paul Vlaanderen, EBRD Board Director for the Netherlands and Mongolia.

The delegation members will meet their government counterparts, hold negotiations with the Bank’s existing and potential business partners and sign an EBRD-funded transaction with Mongolia Opportunities Fund, the country’s first private equity fund serving the fast-growing small and medium-sized businesses sector.

During the two-day visit members of the EBRD delegation will meet the Mongolian authorities, including President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, the Speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia, Damdiny Demberel, Minister of Finance Sangajav Bayartsogt and the Governor of the Bank of Mongolia, Lkhanaasuren Purevdorj.

The EBRD delegation will reinforce the Bank’s strong commitment to supporting the economic development of Mongolia with a view to promote and support further private sector development, including micro, small, medium and large local enterprises and ensuring sustainable development of Mongolia’s emerging and important natural resources sector as well as to contribute to a strengthening of  the country’s financial sector

The US$ 10 million equity contribution by the EBRD to the Mongolia Opportunities Fund which was signed today by EBRD President Mirow and Mandar Jayawant, the Fund’s Managing Partner, is aimed at increasing the availability of equity capital for the growing SME sector in Mongolia

A specific feature of the Fund is that it is dedicated to the non-natural resource sector. It will support companies along the mining supply chain operating both in services and manufacturing, food processing and food supply sectors, as well as small scale infrastructure development. The Fund will make a significant contribution to balanced growth in the Mongolian economy. It will consider making equity investments in Mongolian SMEs with individual investment ranging from US$ 2.5 million up to US$ 7.5 million.

“With this investment the EBRD will take a 25 per cent stake in Mongolia Opportunities Fund that will play an important role in developing the private equity market in Mongolia. Jointly with our partner investor International Finance Corporation, the Fund will provide support to the country’s small and medium-sized businesses, especially, at a time when long-term equity financing remains a scarcity in the country,” President Mirow, said during the signing ceremony.

“The Mongolia Opportunities Fund is uniquely positioned to help grow significantly the local companies that it works with, allowing them to maximise their contributions to Mongolia’s economic development. We appreciate the support that the EBRD has provided in establishing the Fund and look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation with the Bank and the Fund’s other investors for the benefit of our companies,” said Mr Jayawant.

The EBRD delegation will also hold meetings with senior managers and owners of companies that are already Bank clients, as well as with prospective new clients.

In Mongolia the EBRD focuses on developing a sustainable mining sector with sufficient mining supply chain, food processing industry, financial, manufacturing and retail sectors.

Since the beginning of its operations in Mongolia in October 2006, the EBRD has committed about €317 million (US$ 425 million) to 36 projects in various sectors of Mongolia’s economy,  with 100 per cent of the projects’ being related to private sector debt and equity investments.

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