The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided Ural-Siberian Bank with a five-year, US$30mn loan for on-lending to small and medium-sized Russian companies.


IFC’s financing will help the bank expand its lending to private businesses in the Russian regions and support the bank’s merger with four other banks.

“We are pleased to work with Ural-Siberian Bank, a major Russian bank with impressive regional coverage. The IFC investment should help the bank further expand and diversify its portfolio and contribute to the development of medium-sized companies in the regions,” comments Edward Nassim, IFC’s Moscow-based director for Central and Eastern Europe. “This is our first project with the bank, and we expect to have further opportunities for cooperation.”

“IFC’s strategy in the Russian financial market is to support the growth of dynamic financial institutions that operate in the regions. We strongly believe that sound financial institutions are crucial for regional diversification of the country’s economy,” says Jyrki Koskelo, director of IFC’s global financial markets department.

Ural-Siberian Bank is a leading private regional bank in Russia. At the end of 2004, UralSib had over 320 outlets throughout the country, including 21 branches and seven subsidiaries, and it employed around 8,000 people. UralSib was founded in 1993 as an entity wholly owned by the Russian Federation’s Republic of Bashkortostan.

In late 2003, 72.5% of the bank was acquired by companies related to the Nikoil Financial Corporation (now known as FC Uralsib). It is expected that in September 2005, UralSib will merge with four other banks owned by FC Uralsib, namely IBG Nikoil, Avtobank-Nikoil, Kuzbassugolbank and Bryansky Narodny Bank.

The merger will bring together one of the most complete financial groups in Russia. The new banking group will be among the five largest banking institutions in Russia.