IFC Partners with URSA Bank to Expand Access to High-quality Banking Services for SMEs in Russia
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided financing to URSA Bank, one of the largest regional banks in Russia, to expand access to high-quality innovative banking products and services. The financing will be used for trade finance, investment, and energy efficiency projects with small and medium enterprises in Siberia and the Ural region.
The $125 million financing package comprises a four-year, $50 million loan for IFC’s own account and a two-year $75 million syndicated loan. The bookrunners for syndicated component are IFC, Citi, and ICICI. The tenor of the syndicated loan is the longest for a private bank in Russia in 2008.
IFC also plans to provide advisory services to URSA Bank and its clients on the technical, financial, and legal aspects of energy efficiency finance, which will help improve the competitiveness of Russian small and medium enterprises by lowering energy consumption.
John McNaughton, Managing Director of URSA Bank, said, “This loan will help us serve our trade finance and SME customers for up to four years and accelerate economic expansion in Russian regions.”
Jerome Sooklal, IFC Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said, “We at IFC are excited to work with URSA on this transaction, which will channel funds to smaller businesses and energy-efficient projects in the Siberia and Ural regions. The bank’s leadership role in the area is an important asset for the success of the whole operation.”
Steven Fisher, Citi Managing Director and Corporate Bank Head for Russia and C.I.S, added, “This transaction has proved to be a very successful move for URSA Bank. The deal’s customized tenor structure and IFC’s support, coupled with our strong growth, was a successful combination to execute this transaction under challenging market conditions.
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