The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is supporting the expansion of Chisty Bereg CJSC, one of the leading distributors of plumbing and electrical equipment in Belarus, with a €5 million loan.
The funds will allow Chisty Bereg to restructure its balance sheet and open up to 10 specialised stores for professional customers (installers) across the country. This is a well-established business format but relatively new to Belarus. The first store of this kind opened in Minsk in early 2017 and Chisty Bereg is planning to open more hardware centres in the majority of large municipalities by the end of 2019, according to EBRD.
Alex Pivovarsky, Head of Belarus for the EBRD, said: “It is important to support dynamic private sector companies like Chisty Bereg, which provide top-quality goods and services for the construction and DIY sectors in Belarus. Until recently these firms have only been able to support their long-term development with short-term borrowing and the EBRD is happy to improve this situation by offering loans with longer maturities.”
“This is the first step towards implementing our long-term strategy, and we are happy to cooperate with such an experienced international financial institution as the EBRD. On the one hand this is a clear financial effect, on the other this is a new stage in the lifecycle of the company”, said Valentin Losev, Director of Chisty Bereg.
The project is in line with the EBRD’s strategy for Belarus, which seeks in particular to provide long-term debt and equity financing to local private sector investors to strengthen their market position and competitiveness. In addition, under the EBRD’s new transition concept, the Bank aims to promote the six transition qualities, defining successful and sustainable market economies as competitive, well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated.
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.