EBRD pledges US$ 100 million to support Ukrainian small businesses

By Anton Usov

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The EBRD launched a US$ 100 million lending facility for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine. The facility, which will be utilised by the end of 2013, will provide much-needed support for smaller businesses in the country and will concentrate on the development of new loan products, including rural and agricultural lending through local commercial banks. 

Credit Europe Bank Ukraine (CEBU) is the first bank to use the facility through a US$ 10 million loan signed in Kiev today. CEBU, which operates in 11 regions of Ukraine, plans to use loan proceeds to increase its MSME portfolio four-fold to become a major player in this market segment within two years. This is the first project in Ukraine between the EBRD and CEBU, the Ukrainian subsidiary of the Turkish Fiba Group. It builds on the successful cooperation between the two institutions in Russia.

The new MSME facility is the third large-scale EBRD programme designed for support of smaller businesses in this country since 1994. Their total value is almost US$ 520 million, which makes the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development the largest and most consistent lender to small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine.

The facility is supported by the government of Denmark and the EU Neighbouring Investment Facility, which will finance advisory services to partner banks and specialised centralised training to the MSME facility clients.

The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine. As of 15 November 2011, the Bank had committed over €7 billion (US$ 9.3 billion) through 287 projects.

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