Funding to support small and medium-sized businesses
In an additional move to support Russia’s important leasing sector, the EBRD is providing a long-term loan of 500 million roubles to the leasing arm of Rosbank, the Russian banking group majority owned by France’s Societe Generale. A five-year EBRD loan will allow Rosbank Leasing to offer local currency funding to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) which traditionally rely on this type of financing to acquire equipment and means of transport. In 2012, SME’s accounted for 21 percent of the Russian leasing sector’s business. The share of leasing in Russia’s GDP has now reached 4.3 percent. Russia’s leasing market is the world’s sixth largest, as measured by portfolios, and over 100 companies offer this service, yet the sector remains unregulated. This increases the importance of leasing companies having prudent risk management and underwriting procedures, a good network coverage and regional presence. One of the competitive advantages of Rosbank Leasing is that it can use both its own and Rosbank’s banking network spread over 700 outlets in around 340 Russian cities in 70 of Russia’s 82 regions in order to reach clients. It also works through car, truck and construction machinery dealers. The EBRD loan to Rosbank Leasing in Russia follows on earlier such support provided by the Bank to the leasing operations of the Societe Generale group in Bulgaria, Poland and Serbia.