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Belarusian Bank for Small Business Launched to Support Private Micro and Small Enterprises


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and its partners—the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Commerzbank AG, Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), Nederlanse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO), ShoreBank International Ltd., Shorecap International Ltd., and Swedfund—have signed an agreement to launch the Belarusian Bank for Small Business, which will broaden access to finance for private entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises in Belarus.

Today, the eight partners agreed to invest €7 million in the new bank, which is expected to start operating in mid-2008. Several shareholders have also agreed to provide debt financing.

The Belarusian Bank for Small Business will operate as a closed joint stock company with a full banking license. ShoreBank International, one of the founders, will act as the bank’s technical partner and management company. The new bank will offer loans ranging from €100 to €200,000 with maturities of up to 4 years. It will concentrate on loans below €10,000.

IFC will provide up to €1.4 million equivalent in equity, to be followed by a senior loan of up to €5 million. In addition, to support the bank’s start-up and initial phase of operations, IFC will provide about $1 million in funding for advisory services.

Additional donor funds will be provided by Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, and the European Union.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

IFC in Belarus
Belarus became a member of IFC in November 1992. At the invitation of the country’s government, IFC has been involved in advisory work in Belarus since 1993. To date, IFC has implemented a range of advisory projects and has invested about $110 million in the country’s financial, agribusiness, and retail sectors.


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