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Monday, June 26, 2017

EBRD, Belarus agree to privatize bank

The Belarus government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reached an agreement on Wednesday to privatize Belinvestbank.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett and Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko saying both entities would prepare for the sale of the state's stake in the bank by 2020.

"The signing of the agreement is a highly promising breakthrough and a successful outcome of the discussions I started with President Lukashenko back in February," EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said. "Implementation of the agreement could unlock huge potential by spurring the development of the country’s private sector.”

Belinvestbank is the country's fourth largest bank, according to the EBRD. Approximately 65 percent of banks in Belarus are owned by the government.

The EBRD will make pre-privatization funding available once conditions and goals are met on the part of the government so that the bank's corporate governance is free from political influence.