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EBRD helps bring best European DIY retail experience to Belarus

By Anton Usov

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EBRD helps bring best European DIY retail experience to Belarus

Project to promote cross-border cooperation and business expansion

Belarusian customers will benefit from the expansion of the leading domestic DIY retail chain OMA supported by the EBRD. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a six-year € 24 million loan to OMA, the leading domestic DIY retail chain, which will support the company to open up to nine new stores across Belarus by the end of 2019.

The investment will strengthen competition and customer choice by offering customers improved access to a larger range of DIY products at competitive prices. It will also promote cross-border cooperation by bringing best industry standards and technologies to the Belarusian market.

Inclusion is one of the six transition qualities defining the EBRD’s work. The Bank believes that a well-functioning market economy should be competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, resilient and integrated.

OMA is a joint venture between Belarusian investors and Lithuania’s UAB Kesko Senukai, which is itself a joint venture between Kesko OYJ, a leading Finnish retail group, listed on the Nasdaq Nordic Stock Exchange, and Lithuanian investors.  UAB Kesko Senukai is a leader in DIY in the Baltics. The planned expansion of OMA will more than double its sales area and also provide substantial improvements in the company’s IT, logistics and back office operations.

Phil Bennett, EBRD First Vice President, said: “The expansion of such significant international retailers in Belarus sends a strong signal to other existing and potential investors. The EBRD supports this excellent example of cross-border cooperation which will create new jobs and bring new technologies, making the local economy more competitive.”

Dmitry Petrusha, CEO of OMA, said: “This project is very important not only for us, but for the economy of Belarus, too. Attracting foreign direct investment will help us to develop the company which will in turn support the construction industry of Belarus. By expanding our network we will offer a wider choice of Belarus-made goods and create new jobs, especially for young recent graduates. The EBRD’s decision to finance the project proves that the company adheres to high operational, environmental and labour standards”.

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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