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EBRD agrees to buy 15 percent stake in Russia’s SDM Bank

By EBRD  Press Office

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An EBRD investment to in Russia’s SDM Bank will strengthen the capital base of this mid-sized private bank and enable it both to extend its regional reach as well as deepen its funding of the country’s vital small business sector.

The EBRD has agreed to pay up to 352 million roubles (equivalent to USD 11.4 million) for newly-issued ordinary voting shares representing 15 percent of the capital of one of the few Russian banks not to have cut lending to small and medium-size businesses (SME’s) during the recent crisis.

Parallel to this capital increase, the EBRD and SDM worked out an Institution Building Plan (IBP), setting priorities for this bank’s short and medium-term development with a particular focus on improving business processes, efficiency and corporate governance.

By investing in SDM, the EBRD is providing support to a strong and independent private player, which managed to weather the peak of the financial crisis while retaining both its willingness and capacity to start new lending, said Nick Tesseyman, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Financial Institutions.

The transaction is subject to approval by a Russian government committee overseeing foreign investments. Once completed, it will give the EBRD the right to close the transaction and propose a candidate for SDM’s supervisory board.

The EBRD’s equity investment follows up on two unsecured five-year loans totalling 375 million roubles (equivalent to USD 12 million) made by the EBRD to SDM late last year. This funding aims to enable SDM to issue medium and long-term local currency loans.

These loans will target SMEs which are SDM Bank’s core clients, as well as even smaller micro businesses which represent a new territory for the bank’s activities. The demand for financing from these classes of sub-borrowers far exceed what Russia’s banking system can at present supply.

SDM Bank, founded in 1991, has a high quality portfolio and managed to maintain it also during the recent financial crisis.  Ranked 114th among Russian banks at the end of 3d quarter of 2010, as measured by assets, SDM at present operates in Moscow and eight regions of the Russian Federation.

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