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The EBRD and a syndicate of international banks have lent US$90mn to fund the regional expansion of the main pioneer of consumer credit in Russia, Russian Standard Bank.

Of this, US$60mn has been syndicated to 13 commercial banks under an EBRD A/B loan structure whereby the EBRD remains the lender of record for the whole amount. BNP Paribas and RZB acted as mandated arrangers of the commercial B loan and fully underwrote the US$60mn. The EBRD portion is US$30mn, with a three-year maturity while that of the syndicated amount is 18 months.

This is the EBRD’s third loan to Russian Standard Bank since October 2002. Previous EBRD loans totalled US$30mn. The new funding will stimulate competition in Russia’s fast-growing consumer finance sector as well as provide a means of delivering such credits to customers in remote areas of the country. Russian Standard Bank is currently offering consumer credits to individuals in 100 Russian cities.

In July 2004, BNP Paribas Group, acting through its Cetelem subsidiary, signed an agreement to acquire a 50% stake in a holding company which controls over 90% of Russian Standard Bank’s capital. The project is subject to the approval of the Russian Central Bank.

The successful syndication was oversubscribed, but the borrower did not increase the volume.