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Germany’s KfW Entwicklungsbank has concluded an agreement with Russian regional bank NBD for a refinancing line of US$3.3mn. This will give NBD its first long-term refinancing with a term of seven years.

The loan is part of the US$50mn Apex refinancing programme for Russian commercial banks launched on behalf of the German government to promote Russian SMEs. “The programme will give small and medium-sized enterprises access to long-term investment finance,” says Wolfgang Kroh, member of the board of managing directors of KfW Bankengruppe. “Sub-loans granted under the credit line are limited to US$200,000 each.”

The region of Nizhny Novgorod has maintained close economic ties with Germany since the beginning of the 1990s. “We reckon the Russian SMEs to use the vast part of the loans for capital goods purchases from Germany,” says Kroh.

NBD was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Nizhny Novgorod. Since the mid-1990s the management of the bank has concentrated on the target group of SMEs. It is the region’s third largest bank and has 11 branch offices. NBD is the region’s only bank with international cooperation partners (World Bank, IFC, EBRD, USAid) and has been a partner bank of the EBRD SME Programme “Russia Small Business Fund (RSBF) “since 1994. The EBRD has held a share in NBD for the last three years.