MINSK, 20 March (BelTA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and MTBank have signed an agreement on lending $10 million as a synthetic loan to the Belarusian bank with a view to financing small and medium business, MTBank representatives told BelTA.
According to the source, as part of the synthetic loan agreement the amounts owed are specified in Belarusian rubles using the current exchange rate. Liquid assets in Belarusian rubles are made available to MTBank through selling the received foreign currency on the local currency market. It is the third time an EBRD synthetic loan has been granted in Belarus. The previous deal of this kind was sealed by the EBRD and MTBank back in 2014.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has been MTBank's strategic partner for 12 years already — the Belarusian bank has been part of the EBRD's small and medium business support program since 2006. Since then the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has lent over $50 million to the Belarusian bank.
MTBank representatives noted that the two banks intend to offer maximum financial opportunities to the private sector in Belarus. The new loan agreement represents another important step in fruitful cooperation of the two banks. The loan will allow giving more resources to small and medium companies in Belarusian rubles, demand for which has risen considerably over the last 12 months.
The EBRD's senior banker in charge of cooperation with financial institutions in Belarus Jahan Shamsiev underlined the importance of financing SMEs in national currency for their sustainable development. In his words, the competence and the readiness of partners like MTBank to work with alternative financial solutions allow using modern financial technologies to support the real sector of the Belarusian economy.
According to MTBank Financial Director Dmitry Shidlovich, resuming the practice of borrowing money from the EBRD as synthetic loans has become possible thanks to stable interest rates on Belarusian ruble loans and the policy the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus pursues to let the market shape the exchange rate. In the past MTBank and the EBRD also signed a trade facilitation agreement, with the limit set at $10 million. Loans in foreign currency are made available as part of this agreement. Partnership with the EBRD allows MTBank to lend foreign and national currency to Belarusian SMEs depending on needs of the clients.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an international financial institution, which encourages transition to market economy and the development of private initiative and entrepreneurship in over 30 countries across the globe. Its shareholders are 65 countries, the European Union, and the European Investment Bank.
MTBank is Belarus' largest bank with private investments and a track record of over 20 years. MTBank is a universal bank, which successfully caters to individuals and corporations. It is one of the three Belarusian banks with a plastic card processing center of their own.