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Clients of Center-invest remain optimistic

Bank Center-invest carried out regular survey among its clients asking them about the prospects of their business for 2009.

Around 900 SME clients from Rostov, Volgograd regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol krais were surveyed.

Despite the decline in revenue from sale of goods and services in February 2009, the entrepreneurs foresee that in spring the volume of production and goods turnover will return to the level of autumn 2008.

Agricultural enterprises are more conservative about the volume of spring revenues, but believe that in autumn this year they will be able to catch up with the before-crisis volumes.

The clients predict that the volume of construction in autumn will be restored only by half as against the level of the previous year.

The poll says only 16% of Center-invest’s clients reduced the number of employees. Other companies are trying to modernise business-process to keep up with the current changes: cut costs, accelerate goods and stocks turnover, use funds and working capital more efficiently.

These measures were taken within the framework of program “South of Russia versus Global Crisis” developed by the Bank Center-invest for its clients in October last year. It was actively discussed during seminars and briefing meetings with the entrepreneurs.

The clients of Center-invest Bank run responsible and sustainable business: 94% of people surveyed do not have tax arrears and only 7% of clients ask for loans prolongation/restructuring. The Bank satisfies these requests only if clients implement anti-crisis measures to ensure cost reduction by at least 30%.

We should mention that Center-invest Bank did not increase interest rates for long- term loans given earlier in order that the clients could complete modernisation projects and start building post-crisis economy. Besides, the Bank assumed expenses for clients currency risk hedging.