Minsk, Belarus, June 21, 2017
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed today a swap agreement to help Belarusky Narodny Bank (BNB-Bank) hedge its currency risk, supporting better access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
IFC and BNB-Bank plan to execute a currency swap transaction with a notional amount of up to 15 million euro and up to two years’ maturity. The long-maturity currency swap allows the bank to enhance its creditworthiness and improve profitability by hedging currency exposure through the international derivatives markets. This is the first swap agreement structured by IFC in Belarus.
“Today’s agreement is a part of an excellent partnership we have developed with IFC,” said Constantine Tsereteli, BNB-Bank's CEO. “The successful completion of the swap deal will help us manage foreign currency risks and our long-term liabilities more actively, improving our profitability. Our strategic goal remains unchanged; we want to continue to expand support to SMEs and help grow the economy.”
BNB-Bank, a mid-sized bank with branches in the capital, Minsk, and regional cities, is one of just a few private financial institutions in Belarus focused on SMEs, which often struggle to obtain financing.
“IFC is helping banks improve their sustainability and mitigate risks, including currency risk,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC’s Director for Europe and Central Asia. “This agreement with BNB-Bank, our long-term partner in the country, reflects IFC's commitment to strengthen Belarus' financial sector and expand access to finance for local entrepreneurs through capital market innovations.”
Over the past several years, IFC has supported BNB-Bank with a range of financial products, including trade finance, debt financing, and equity investments.
IFC is a leading international investor in Belarus’ private sector and has so far provided about $300 million in long-term financing across several sectors. IFC has also provided about $430 million to Belarussian banks via its Global Trade Finance Program.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY16, we delivered a record $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit