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EBRD to support local currency lending in Belarus

Economy 13.09.2017 | 14:10

MINSK, 13 September (BelTA) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will support local currency lending in Belarus, BelTA learned from the EBRD.

During a visit by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti to Belarus, the Bank and the authorities signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to this effect in Minsk on 13 September. Promoting local currency lending and strengthening domestic capital markets are shared priorities for the Belarusian authorities and the EBRD. The country's authorities are committed to facilitating access to affordable local currency funds for local private businesses. In order to achieve this goal they are promoting a macroeconomic, regulatory and market environment that supports the development of the local capital and money markets and local currency borrowing, the bank said.

The memorandum also confirms the EBRD's commitment to providing affordable loans to Belarusian banks, microfinance organizations and small businesses under the EBRD's Local Currency Program. It was established to mitigate the exposure of firms in EBRD countries of operations to exchange-rate volatility. The €500 million SME Local Currency Program combines the EBRD financing and donor resources to provide eligible borrowers with access to affordable funding.

The second MoU on commercialization and governance is intended to provide a framework for cooperation between the EBRD and the government on promoting better business practices in state-owned enterprises.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost €1.9 billion in some 90 projects in various sectors of the country's economy.

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