MINSK - The World Bank and Belarus Development Bank (BDB) signed a $60 million credit agreement to implement a new Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Access to Finance Project aimed at improving access to finance for private micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and enhancing the governance and the institutional capacity of the BDB, the Belarusian bank said in a statement.
The Belarusian bank’s cooperation programme with the World Bank will span 15 years, giving MSMEs an opportunity to draw credit resources in US dollars via the BDB’s partner banks.
The newly approved MSME Access to Finance Project relies on the findings of the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) of 2014 and 2016. The FSAP revealed that too much bank lending consists of directed and subsidized credit to state owned enterprises. This squeezes out efficient investment.
Since Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, lending commitments to the country have totalled US$ 1.7 billion. In addition, grant financing totalling US$ 28 million has been provided to various programs, including those with civil society organizations. With the approval of this project, the active investment lending portfolio financed by the World Bank includes nine operations totalling US$ 991 million.
OAO Belarus Development Bank in association with partner banks has provided Br150 million ($77.4 million) in support of 1,200 investment projects of Belarus’ small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since early 2015.
The BDB financial support programme for SMEs investment projects was launched in August 2014.
Since early 2017 Belarus Development Bank has provided support to around 500 projects, with more than Br60 million transferred in credit funds under the SME support programme.
The Development Bank relies on 13 partner banks to implement its SME support programme: OAO Belgazprombank, OAO Bank BelVEB, OAO Belarusky Narodny Bank, OAO Belinvestbank, ZAO MTBank, ZAO Alfa-Bank, ZAO Bank VTB (Belarus), OAO BPS-Sberbank, Priorbank, OAO Bank Moscow-Minsk, Paritetbank and OAO Belagroprombank.
The Development Bank was established on June 21, 2011 after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed ordinance #261 to create open joint-stock company Bank of Development of the Republic of Belarus.
The Development Bank is Belarus’ agent bank to service and repay state loans and external loans attracted against a government security and extended to finance projects included in state programs.
The government holds a 95.473% stake in the Development Bank of Belarus, the share of OAO Belaruskali stands at 4.513%, the National Bank of Belarus – 0.014%.