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Long-term investment to modernize SMEs

Under an agreement signed on 3 September 2012, the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) is to provide Center-invest Bank with a €20m credit line for a period of seven years. Center-invest Bank will use these funds for on-lending to SMEs that require finance for modernization and investment projects, and also for energy-efficiency loans.

With a Ba3 rating from Moody’s, Center-invest Bank was able to obtain these long-term funds on attractive terms.

“We raised the finance for a period of seven years because we can see that companies in southern Russia have a specific need for long-term resources. It is very important that we can provide our borrowers with loans for the whole duration of their investment projects, as most of these projects have payback periods of between four and seven years,” says Grigory Zhukov, Chairman of the Executive Board of Center-invest Bank. “The negotiations were not straightforward, but we managed to persuade our Austrian partners that our region is a reliable arena for the implementation of investment projects.”

The credit line from the Austrian bank will allow 50-100 Center-invest Bank business customers to modernize their technology and equipment, taking the quality of their goods to a new, modern level and significantly reducing production costs.

Center-invest Bank’s loan portfolio includes loans to finance many projects that have increased the efficiency of customers’ existing businesses three- to fivefold, thereby starting the modernization of the SME sector in southern Russia. Our portfolio also includes energy-efficiency loans and loans to allow companies to introduce new technologies into the region’s agribusiness sector.

Drawing on best international practice, Center-invest Bank offers its customers and every company in southern Russia intellectual support and modern financial solutions.

Established twenty years ago by southern Russia’s first privatized enterprises, Center-invest Bank has become known as a “reform laboratory” in the region and it has established successful partnerships with international financial institutions. It is southern Russia’s leading bank and the only one to have a Ba3 rating from Moody’s.