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EBRD taps into Belarusian leasing market

By Anton Usov

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EBRD taps into Belarusian leasing market

Project with Raiffeisen Leasing will use financing to improve competition and support smaller businesses

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a senior five-year loan of €15 million to Raiffeisen Leasing Belarus (RLBY) – the EBRD’s first engagement in the Belarusian leasing sector.

With this financing the EBRD is contributing to the development of the fledging Belarusian leasing market and strengthening a non-banking financial-sector institution. The loan will offer a much-needed financial product to small and medium-sized Belarusian businesses that still find access to finance challenging.

Strengthening the resilience of the local economy through access to finance is one of the ways in which the EBRD is supporting the transition process in the countries where the Bank invests. Resilience is one of the six qualities the EBRD has identified as the desired outcomes of the transition process, which should also seek to make economies competitive, green, inclusive, integrated and well governed.

RLBY is the largest private player in the Belarusian leasing market, which is otherwise dominated by state-owned leasing companies. It aims to increase its market share and expand its operations throughout Belarus.

Alex Pivovarsky, EBRD Head of Office in Belarus, said: “We are very happy to sign this first leasing project in Belarus with a company that is ultimately controlled by Raiffeisen Bank International, our strategic partner in the region and in the country. Our joint track record in Belarus allows us to have confidence in the success of this important undertaking.”

Maksim Lisitski, RLBY Head, said: “We are very proud to be the first Belarusian leasing company to attract a direct loan from the EBRD. We hope this is the beginning of a long-term partnership for us in the country.”

RLBY is operationally integrated into Priorbank, a local bank fully owned by Raiffeisen Bank International, which has partnered with the EBRD since 1997.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost €1.8 billion in some 70 projects in various sectors of the country's economy.

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