Russia’s Economic Development Ministry Selects 70 Banks to Process Preferential-Terms Loans to SMEs

27 February 2019 (09:20)

UrBC, Moscow, February 27, 2019. The preferential-terms lending program for small and medium enterprises (part of the national SME & Sole Trader Support Program) took off on February 25, 2019. Small businesses can now apply for preferential-terms loans (interest rate under 8.5%) at seventy authorized banks operating in twenty-nine federal constituencies, Russia’s Economic Development Ministry’s press service reports.

‘Our list of seventy authorized banks selected to take part in the program was finalized this week. As you can see, this is a much longer list than the one we came up with last year. Only fifteen banks were authorized to process preferential-terms loans in 2018. This year, the list comprises not only the ten key banks with large branch networks but also smaller local banks based in twenty-nine federal constituencies. All of these banks have worked with loans to SMEs before,’ says Russia’s Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.

The smaller local banks could apply to join the program after the selection criteria grew less rigid this year; besides, the number of potential borrowers eligible to apply for loans rose considerably after new sectors of economic activity got included (trade investment loans, for example).

SMEs can now apply for an investment loan (up to RUB 1bn, up to ten years) and/or a working capital loan (up to RUB 100m, up to 3 years) at the interest rate of 8.5% a year. At least 10% of preferential-terms loans must get issued to micro-businesses.

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