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Belagroprombank borrowed €50 million from the largest European financial institution to support small and medium-sized businesses

On 20 November, an agreement was concluded between JSC Belagroprombank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the House of Government. A €50 million loan agreement for a term of 6 years was signed by the Chairman of the Board of Belagroprombank Anatoli Lysiuk and the EIB Vice President Alexander Stubb, in attendance of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, members of the Government and the representatives of other state administration bodies, as well as Belarusian and foreign financial institutions.

Keeping in mind the scale of the EIB’s business (the size of the assets is larger than that of the EBRD and is comparable to that of the IMF), the agreement testifies to the high credibility of the Belarusian banking sector, and of Belagroprombank in particular, on the Western and Central European financial market.

On 20 November an agreement was signed between JSC Belagroprombank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the House of Government.

The loan agreement is unique with respect to the size of the loan and its terms. A low interest rate and the favourable terms of the loan provided by the EIB will allow Belagroprombank to significantly reduce the financial burden of enterprises as regards the interest rate and the loan maturity date. Furthermore, this project is one of the largest-scale projects currently implemented by the EIB in the Republic of Belarus.

– Today Belagroprombank is one of the largest banks in Belarus and has a strong reputation as a trusted financial partner in our country and abroad. Over the last few years, the bank has done a lot to improve interaction with clients and has demonstrated a significantly positive performance on the international financial market that enabled us to successfully finance our clients’ projects. All of the above made it possible to prepare and implement this deal within a fairly short period of time, – the Chairman of the Board of Belagroprombank Anatoli Lysiuk stated at the signing ceremony.

The scale of the bank’s cooperation with its corporate clients is pretty solid: at present, the bank’s client base includes about 40 thousand legal entities of different types of incorporation, of which 90% are small and medium-sized enterprises. The cooperation with such companies is not limited to cash and settlement services, but also includes import and export financing and other products actively offered by the bank.

Anatoli Lysiuk commented on the progress of the project implementation:

– How long did it take to prepare the loan agreement?

– It all started on May 15, 2017 when a Framework Agreement was concluded between Belarus and the European Investment Bank in Luxemburg. It was a crucial step in establishing the cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union and laid the foundations for the development of the EIB’s financial activity in our country. We recognized that this partnership may have a lot of potential promise and, with support of the Ministry of Economy, offered our partners several options for cooperation.

We identified that the financing of small and medium-sized businesses, the fastest growing and one of the key sectors of our economy, is the most promising   area for our country. The next step became the Belarusian-European Economic Forum held in Luxemburg on 27 October last year in the course of which the agreements were reached that laid a foundation for our experts to prepare the version of the final document.

Belagroprombank instantly created several working groups, each of which on their own level polished the agreement to perfection. I am thankful to the team of the bank, as well as our EIB partners, for the top quality and well organized work of a large team of experts which resulted in the signing of such a large-scale agreement.

– Who can qualify for a loan and on what terms?

– In this case, we will consider providing financing to small and medium-sized enterprises  employing up to 250 people and with the state share in their charter capital of up to 25% (in some exceptions up to 50%).

The interest rate will depend on the terms of each specific deal, but in any case Belagroprombank’s offer will be very attractive compared to similar programs available on the Belarusian market. The bank intends to offer loans to our clients for a term of up to six years, at an interest rate of 3% per annum. At present, this is a unique offer that is comparable to the world’s best standards.

The funds may be spent on purchasing, renewing and expanding tangible assets, on investing in intangible assets, or on the needs of medium and long-term floating capital. The country of origin of the goods is of no importance, and the funds may also be used to purchase goods made in Belarus. Belagroprombank and the EIB will control the targeted use of the financial resources.

– What possible options for cooperation with the EIB may be further implemented in our country?

– We believe that cooperation with the EIB may bring additional investments into the transport, energy and environment sectors. Thanks to the November agreements, the investment opportunities in the Republic of Belarus should receive a strong boost.

Background information. The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s state financial institution that provides long-term financing and technical expertise for sustainable projects in Europe and outside its borders. The bank is owned by the 28 European Union member states. According to international financial institutions, the EIB is the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender. The bank is headquartered in Luxemburg, and its network includes more than 40 local branch offices.

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