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  • FAR EAST DEVELOPMENT FUND TO OFFER RUB 10 BILLION IN LOANS TO 500 SME PROJECTS

    30 January 2017

    The Far East Development Fund is planning to offer up to RUB 10 billion in loans for up to 500 small and medium-sized enterprise projects under the ‘Affordable SME Loans’ programme by the end of this year, the Fund’s press service said.

    “The first three months of the ‘Affordable SME Loans’ programme run by the Fund in partnership with Sberbank saw 119 projects obtain financing of more than RUB 1.5 billion in total. Up to 500 projects are expected to receive loans by year-end, with the Fund investing up to RUB 10 billion”, Fund spokesman Ilya Stupin said.

    He added that the Fund had conducted a selective poll of entrepreneurs in the Russian Far East who had already received loans. Of those polled, 90% said they were mainly attracted to the programme by its low interest rates (11.1% APR on average). All respondents commented on the accessibility of the funding compared with what was available on the Far Eastern market previously. Some praised the quick turnaround and lack of red tape.

    Most borrowers under the SME programme own stable businesses that are more than three to five years old. Some 75% of the respondents operating in the production and services sector were looking for new business development opportunities and service formats. This includes entrepreneurs providing restaurant services, construction material manufacturers, and owners of modern medical centres and children’s institutions.

    Around a third of the loans are aimed at plant upgrades (acquisition of new agricultural equipment, medical equipment, etc.). Several entrepreneurs in Primorsky Territory said they were planning or had already applied to become residents of Vladivostok Free Port.

    The Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund was established at the initiative of the President and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation as an investment support tool for priority projects in Eastern Russia.

    Source: http://tass.ru/ekonomika/3981119 (Russian)