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Opinions & Interviews

4 Mar 2019

Belarus expects balance of interests in EBRD's deal on Belinvestbank

Belarus expects balance of interests in EBRD's deal on Belinvestbank

MINSK, 4 March (BelTA) – Belarus expects that a balance of interests will be secured in the Belinvestbank deal with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas made the relevant statement as he met with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti on 4 March, BelTA has learned.

Sergei Rumas said: “Together with EBRD specialists we are now actively taking care of pre-privatization support for financial sector organizations and real economy ones. The largest and most significant project. We expect the EBRD team to pursue a fair approach to structuring the deal and are interested in mutually beneficial cooperation based on a balance of interests.”

The prime minister was also satisfied with progress in the EBRD’s efforts to become a Priorbank shareholder. “We are convinced that this deal will open a new stage in our cooperation in finance,” he said.

Speaking about real economy sector enterprises, Sergei Rumas mentioned that several pre-privatization support projects are in the works. The Belarusian side believes that all possible conditions and consequences of decisions should be carefully and comprehensively evaluated. And such decisions should be prepared taking into account national interests.

The Belarusian head of government expressed gratitude to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for assistance with preparing a pilot project designed to modernize the M10 motorway on public private partnership terms and for the opportunity to arrange a roadshow of the project in the EBRD HQ in January 2019.

Sergei Rumas believes that Belarus’ interaction with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had reached a brand new level in the last few years. “In 2018 we managed to secure a record high volume of EBRD operations in Belarus – €360 million, this is why we strongly appreciate the support the bank extends and are interested in continuing the successful partnership in the public sector and the private one,” the prime minister stressed.

The Belarusian government pays close attention to the advancement of private initiative, the development of small and medium entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth. “This is why we count on the bank’s support for this sector in Belarus,” Sergei Rumas said.

BelTA reported earlier that in January 2019 the head of the EBRD representative office in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky told media that the EBRD expects to finish the deal to become a shareholder of the Belarusian bank Belinvestbank in H1 2019. The main goal of the deal is to increase the bank’s value in order to attract a strategic investor later on.

The EBRD is an international bank, which facilitates the development of the private sector and entrepreneurship initiative in 38 economies on three continents. The EBRD shareholders include 67 countries, the European Union, and the European Investment Bank. Since the EBRD began working in Belarus in 1992, the bank has invested over €2.4 billion in various branches of the national economy.

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