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Center-Invest Bank - the leader in SME lending

In Q1 2008, Center-Invest Bank granted SMEs 1629 loans totalling RUR5bn. As such, it outperformed the other banks participating in the Rostov region SME Development Programme.

Overall, Center-Invest Bank was responsible for 40% of the loans issued (both in terms of the number of loans and their combined value), and it accounted for more than 60% of the total value of lending to the small-scale farming sector.

In the first quarter of 2008, a total of 4049 loans with a combined value of more than RUR 12.6bn were granted to SMEs in the Rostov region.

Elena Pontankova, head of Center-Invest Bank's SME Lending Department says, 'Center-Invest Bank leads not only in terms of the number of loans issued, but also in terms of the quality of its services for SMEs in southern Russia. We aim to develop long-term relationships with all our customers. What sets up apart are our favourable terms, our individual approach, and our extensive range of modern banking products and services.'

Center-Invest Bank has been running programmes to support SMEs in southern Russia for ten years. Its customers now include 17,300 SMEs and 12,100 self-employed individuals.

Using the opportunities provided by its cooperation with international financial institutions (EBRD, DEG, KfW, FMO, and IFC), in addition to providing short-term loans, Center-Invest Bank also runs an industrialisation programme for SMEs operating in various sectors in southern Russia: it finances the purchase and lease of new equipment, provides mortgages for commercial property, and helps companies implement long-term energy efficiency projects.

Trade finance guaranteed by export agencies and leading international banks makes it easier for Center-Invest's customers to trade internationally and improves their standing with foreign partners.

As well as providing traditional banking services, Center-Invest Bank applies innovation to support SMEs in southern Russia.

SMEs can obtain information about Center-Invest's services via its website, and they can also make online loan applications ( Applying for a loan online is very convenient – it can be done at any time, and decisions about loan applications are made within 24 hours.

Center-Invest Bank's 'Partner' programme provides its SME customers with access to a database of 25,000 SMEs in Germany and the Rostov region (

Center-Invest Bank has been operating a 'hot line' for over two years. This service provides businesses in the Rostov region with over 2,000 free legal consultations annually (