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Resources allocated for wide business support

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development gives 10m Euro loan to Belinvestbank to finance two completely new programmes
In particular, the money will be used for credits to finance energy-efficient projects and renewable energy sources, as well as to develop women’s entrepreneurship in the country. The agreement was signed by the Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus, Francis Delaey, and the Chairman of Belinvestbank’s Board, Gennady Sysoev.

Chairman of Belinvestbank’s Board, Gennady Sysoev, and Head of EBRD Office in Minsk, Francis Delaey, after signing of credit agreements

The first loan, worth 8m Euros, is allocated as part of the Belarus Sustainable Energy Finance Facility (BelSEFF). It’s expected that the funds will provide creditors with the necessary resources to support local small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as separate enterprises of the state sector. The second loan, worth 2m Euros, will be available to businesses owned or headed by women.

“Using co-operation with Belinvestbank as a model, we hope to expand our operations in Belarus. I would like to thank the Belarusian authorities for their collaboration,” said Mr. Delaey. “EBRD’s operations with Belinvestbank has reached 60m Euros, making the bank our second biggest client in Belarus. The fact that we could achieve this against the background of a complicated macroeconomic situation reflects our trust in Belinvestbank and makes an example of our interaction with the Belarusian authorities.”

Belinvestbank is the first financial institution with state assets which has received similar support from EBRD. At the same time, the European partner interacts with state bodies by helping to finance projects for municipal infrastructure, power engineering and the transport sector.

One of the areas of co-operation between the EBRD and the Government is the work with state enterprises. Mr. Delaey named the pre-privatisation support given to Belinvestbank as an example. A similar experience can be applied to the Moscow-Minsk Bank. Moreover, the EBRD has received an inquiry for pre-privatisation support for five large enterprises. It is now conducting preliminary comprehensive assessment, after which it will choose one of the companies, currently not named.

Bankers put their stake on speed

By Violetta Dronova

Though bankers aren’t first in the ratings of most highly paid specialists, the market of financial services is rapidly developing. According to the Gomel Region Chief Department of the National Bank of Belarus, the banking business isn’t restricted to regional cities and Minsk; it’s actively going into the districts. There are 29 banks in the Republic, with 22 of these having their representations in the Gomel District. These are 336 subdivisions which service clients of the region. I asked the Department how changeable this figure is, “The banking sphere is flexible. For example, at the beginning of the year, the Home Credit Bank left the market yet the loss does not seem to have had an effect so far. At the same time, several new offices of other banks have opened, thus the regional segment of banking services is being constantly improved and developed.”

Recently, a new centre to service corporate clients of the Moscow-Minsk Bank JSC has opened in Gomel; it’s solely oriented towards business. It has been on the Gomel market of banking services since 2008 and over the decade it has increased the number of its subdivisions by 10 in the regional centre while also ‘penetrating’ deep into the districts of Svetlogorsk, Zhlobin, Mozyr and Rechitsa. This is a good sign, as services are in demand. The address of the new office in Lenin Avenue is in the historic centre of Gomel. The building housing the bank’s new subdivision is an architectural monument of the early 20th century. It was in desperate condition but has now been restored and received a new life while completely preserving its unique architectural style. Moreover, the main regional department of the Moscow-Minsk Bank is located within 100m. I asked Vladimir Dovidovich, the Head of the Gomel Region Department #444 why the bank decided to expand under these difficult conditions.

“Until now we used to combine the services of individuals and legal entities. But now, against the background of the activisation of regional business, it has been necessary to separate these two areas. As a result, everyone has benefitted. The appearance of an additional corporate client service centre is new for service provision,” he said.

The new offices offer comfort, speed, and quality. There are no queues here and clients are able to draw up any product for business, receive personal consultations and use cash department services.

By Alexander Pimenov
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