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Economy
01 June 2020, 16:39

EBRD to expand local-currency lending to SMEs in Belarus

MINSK, 1 June (BelTA) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide Belarusky Narodny Bank (BNB-Bank) a senior loan of up to Br10 million (equivalent to €3.8 million) under its Covid-19 response for on-lending to local small businesses, BelTA learned from the EBRD press service.

“Providing funding in local currency will limit the risks that borrowers face with regard to exchange rate,” the EBRD said.

The privately owned BNB-Bank has been a client of the EBRD since 2011 and was one of the first institutions in Belarus to start lending in local currency. The new loan will also help support BNB-Bank's liquidity and strengthen its position as a growing lender in the SME market segment.

The EBRD expects the entirety of its investments of up to €21 billion in 2020-21 to be dedicated to the response to and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Part of this effort is a Resilience Framework for existing clients, offering immediate support through the provision of short-term working capital, liquidity and the restructuring of exposures.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost €2.9 billion in 134 projects in various sectors of the country's economy.

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