The European Bank for Restructuring and
Development (EBRD) will lend UniCredit Leasing Russia (UCLR) 1.2
billion roubles (€30 million) as part of strategy to boost the
country’s leasing sector.
The five-year loan will support UCLR’s plans
to meet a growing demand in Russia for leased equipment and heavy
vehicles, a structurally important area of the economy which saw a
dramatic fall during the 2008-2009 crisis.
Demand for leasing is now primarily coming
from small and medium-sized businesses in need of local currency
financing according to UCLR.
Fabrizio Rollo, chief executive of UCLR said:
“With this new funding source we are given the opportunity to
further support small and medium enterprises, confirming us as a
partner our customers can concretely rely on for re-launching their
This is the third EBRD loan to a Russian
leasing company since the crisis following a €35 million loan to
Europlan in October 2010 and a €114 million loan to John Deere
Leasing in may this year.
The bank has also provided loans totalling
€115 million to the UniCredit Leasing network in EBRD’s countries
of operations, as part of a broader partnership.
Christoph Siegl, CFO of UCLR, said:
“Partnership with the EBRD in Russia is one further important step
in supporting SMEs in their investment plans for 2012.
“The financial advantage of EBRD loan will be
available for final customers of UCLR through a wide range of
products and services which will be tailored in accordance to the
specific needs and requirements of local businesses across
UCLR’s Italian parent bank UniCredit has
recently signed a deal with Russian leasing company VTB-Leasing to
provide a €50 million (£44 million) credit facility with the
purpose of financing the import of equipment produced in Italy to
Russia for further lease.
The loan was backed by a guarantee from the
Italian export credit agency SACE, with UniCredit acting as sole
arranger and bank agent.
Francesca Beomonte, head of structured trade
and export finance at UniCredit Italy, said the deal was part of a
continuous effort to work with local partners to promote Italian
companies in the Russian market.