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World Bank Group Partners with the National Bank of Belarus to Ease Access to Finance for Smaller Businesses


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze

Phone: +995 32 223 43 00/01/02

E-mail:
tbarbakadze@ifc.org


Minsk, Belarus, July 24, 2019 – The World Bank Group signed a cooperation agreement with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus that will increase access to finance for businesses, and smaller enterprises.

Under the agreement, the Belarus Secured Transactions and Collateral Registry project- implemented by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and funded by the European Union- will help create a legal framework for a secured transactions system. This will allow companies to use movable assets—including inventory, accounts receivable, and equipment—as collateral for loans.

The project will also help develop a well-functioning centralized electronic collateral registry that will make it easier for smaller businesses -with limited assets- to obtain financing. The registry will also allow potential creditors to check whether a particular asset is free from encumbrances, or being used as collateral.

Implementing effective reform of the secured transactions system and a reliable collateral registry will help financial institutions respond to some of the challenges they are facing,” said Olga Shcherbina, Head of the IFC Office in Belarus.Businesses will be able to use a variety of their movable assets as collateral to expand their lending operations, accelerate their growth and potential to create jobs.”

Belarus is ranked 85th globally in terms of access to credit, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019 report. According to official statistics, there are about 350,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises as well as entrepreneurs operating in Belarus. They need financial support as well as information on the secured transactions legislation and emerging opportunities to develop their full potential.

IFC will provide advice to the National Bank in structuring and setting-up collateral registries, while expanding a list of pledged movable assets. The IFC advisory team will also deliver in-depth training to financial institutions on using movable assets as security, while raising awareness on reforms related to secured transaction systems and how businesses can benefit.

IFC is a significant international investor in Belarus’ private sector, supporting country reforms for over 25 years. IFC has loaned a total of about $75 million to Belarusian banks for further on-lending to smaller businesses, and over $350 million has been made available via IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program to support export-oriented Belarusian SMEs.
 


About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit
www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.

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