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Reports: EBRD to buy stakes in 2 Belarusian lenders

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development expects to complete the acquisition of stakes in the Belarusian Bank for Development and Reconstruction (Belinvestbank) JSC and Priorbank JSC by the end of the first half, news agency BelTA reported Jan. 10.

Alexander Pivovarsky, who heads the EBRD office in Belarus, said that the financial institution could acquire a stake in state-owned Belinvestbank in the first or second quarter of 2019. The due diligence process into the Belarusian lender has already been completed, while commercial and other issues are currently under discussion, according to the newswire.

The Belarusian government approved the sale of a stake in Belinvestbank in June 2018, local media reported at the time, noting that the holding to be acquired by the EBRD would be close to 25%.

Pivovarsky also said the EBRD intends to purchase the state-owned holding in Priorbank in the first quarter of 2019. The EBRD could later sell the stake to Raiffeisen Bank International AG, which controls Priorbank, but no discussions have been held on the matter as yet.

Raiffeisen CIS Region Holding GmbH holds an 87.74% stake in Priorbank. The State Property Committee of the Republic of Belarus owns 4.61% of the bank, while a 1.28% stake belongs to state-run Minsk Automobile Plant.