The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is stepping up efforts to prepare Belinvestbank, the fifth-largest bank in Belarus, for privatisation, with a package of measures that combines financial support with capacity-building, focusing on corporate governance.
A €50 million subordinated debt facility will strengthen the bank’s capital base and is part of a plan that will lead to its eventual privatisation, as agreed between the government of Belarus and the EBRD in May 2015.
In addition, the EBRD, which has significant experience in pre-privatisation support of financial institutions across the region, will continue to work with Belinvestbank to facilitate its further commercialisation and transformation into a more efficient and profitable institution, according to EBRD.
Belinvestbank Chairman of the Board Andrey Brishtelev said: “Our joint activities with the EBRD have yielded significant results for the development and transformation of our financial institution. We are nearing the completion of a team, which will consist of professionals from Belinvest, the EBRD and consultants, to implement a range of programmes to support SMEs and female entrepreneurship, as well as the Trade Facilitation Programme and the financing of energy efficiency projects. We continue to build our corporate governance system and mechanisms for strategic planning, as well as to introduce digital products and services. This allows us to be optimistic about the future. These joint activities have improved the bank’s financial stability, with the help of subordinated debt provided by the EBRD. We are ready to implement new projects with the EBRD and also to cooperate with other institutions.”
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “It has been two years since we embarked on a mission to transform Belinvestbank. Today we have reached a very important milestone, which allows me to say that I am satisfied with the way we are progressing along the projected path. The additional capital provided to Belinvestbank will not only support the bank’s capitalisation but will also contribute to the promotion of private ownership in the country’s banking sector.”
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.