Russia’s VTB Bank has signed a euro-denominated ECA-backed umbrella financing deal with the Uzbek Industrial and Construction Bank (Uzpromstroybank) to support trade between Austria and Uzbekistan.

The €15.6mn deal is structured as a medium-term bank-to-bank financing, and is covered by Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB), the Austrian export credit agency (ECA). Disbursed in one tranche, it will be used for supporting Uzbekistan projects with Austrian exporters’ participation, with a particular focus on smaller trade contracts that are usually not structured under ECA cover due to their size.

According to VTB, this is the first OeKB-covered umbrella financing transaction in the Uzbek market. A VTB spokesperson tells GTR that the deal will increase Austrian trade flows to Uzbekistan, which is one of the most dynamic economies in the CIS region.

Uzpromstroybank, Uzbekistan’s third-largest bank, has been particularly active in trade finance deals of late. Last year, it signed a US$20mn facility with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which will provide finance for small and medium-sized businesses, especially in rural areas of the Central Asian country, and also allow Uzpromstroybank to support export-import transactions, increase correspondent banking services and expand its range of products to service foreign trade operations.