Belarusky Narodny Bank (BNB) is able to significantly expand its trade finance operations thanks to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) increasing its guarantee facility limit by US$5.5mn.

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, brought the total financial provision for BNB to US$10mn under its global trade finance programme (GTFP) at the beginning of March. It also doubled the maximum tenor allowance for such operations from one to two years.

Siarhei Sabuk, deputy CEO of BNB tells of his pleasure at “the new opportunities to expand business” in partnership with the IFC since collaboration first began in 2010. To date, the IFC has supported trade finance operations at BNB in excess of US$21mn.

Olga Sherbina, head of IFC’s office in Belarus, says the deal will enable the bank to further its lending to SMEs specifically. “Our continued co-operation would help more SMEs reach new markets and further expand foreign trade,” she explains.

BNB is headquartered in Minsk and majority-owned by the Bank of Georgia.

GTFP covers up to 100% of transaction value for trade deals in challenging countries. To date, the IFC has issued guarantees for more than 54,000 transactions through the programme.