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EBRD and Idea Bank support Belarusian SMEs

By Anton Usov

Local businesses to benefit from better access to finance across the country, longer maturities

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing up to €7 million to privately owned Idea Bank of Belarus under its framework facility to support local small and medium-sized businesses in the country.

Idea Bank specialises in providing financial services to over 800,000 clients, including micro, small and medium-sized businesses in Belarus. With a good network of branches and outlets across the country, it is well positioned to provide much needed longer maturity loans to domestic SMEs.

Francis Delaey, the EBRD’s Head of Office in Belarus, said: “It is good to see more Belarusian private banks becoming our partners in lending to small and medium-sized businesses in this country. This is important from the banking sector development perspective, as currently state ownership prevails in the sector. Small businesses should also benefit from the good geographical coverage Idea Bank has in Belarus.”

Belarusian small businesses contribute around 23 per cent to national GDP – this is more than in neighbouring countries such as Russia or Ukraine.

The EBRD is a major investor in Belarus. As of 1 June 2015 the Bank had invested €1.7 billion spread over 70 projects, most of which are in the private sector.

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