RBS, BNP and Deutsche Bank not ready to resume cooperation with Belarus

April 22, 2016 18:12

The leading European banks RBS, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank are not yet ready to resume investment cooperation with Belarus. The Belarus’ National Agency for Investment and Privatization is looking for strategic investors for Belarusian enterprises and has offered European companies to play a role of financial advisers.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Guryanov on June 14 reported that European banks RBS, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank were not ready to resume cooperation with the authorities interrupted in 2011.

Mr. Guryanov added that the authorities co-operate with other European banks. “The place of those who leave is always occupied by those who have a pragmatic attitude and a purely commercial interest. Therefore, we believe that with the increasing trade with the EU, which is now the case, European banks will occupy a more constructive position”, he elaborated.

During 2011 banks RBS, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank stopped cooperation with the Belarusian authorities under the influence of the EU and U.S. sanctions imposed in response to the dispersal of opposition protests on December 19, 2010.

The Belarusian National Agency for Investment and Privatization (NAIP) has formally requested technical and financial proposals from applicants for financial consultancy services in order to find strategic investors for Minsk Margarine Plant and a Chocolate Factory “Confa”.

Requests were sent to the short-listed companies: Admiralty International (USA), Ernst & Young (Belarus), Gryphon Emerging Markets Limited (UK), Marlagne Capital Advisors (Belgium), Uniter Investment Company (Belarus), Zabolis Partners (Lithuania).

They need to submit their proposals to NAIP not later than July 6th, 2012. In September this year, the winner will start providing advisory services, including development of privatization strategy, preparation of enterprises for sale, helping the Agency to hold share-sales tenders. It is assumed that all these tasks will be accomplished before the end of 2012.

JSC “Minsk Margarine Plant” and JSC “Confa” are among the eight companies that participate in a pilot privatization project, implemented by NAIP with the World Bank’s support. In the near future technical and financial proposals will be requested for the privatization of other companies involved in the project.

According to the National Statistics Committee, in Q1 2012 the dynamics of the European investments in Belarus was diverse in terms of countries (see Table 1).

Table 1.

Foreign investments to Belarus from European countries, gross, (in decreasing order), thousands of US Dollars

State

Q1 2011

Q1 2012

UK

575337

1278535

Cyprus

310877

202407

Austria

237048

179197

The Netherlands

60558.6

105736

Germany

50110.7

48589.4

Lithuania

28702.7

41435.2

Poland

22240.3

35907.3

Latvia

27446.9

31557.7

British Virgin Islands

11976.5

27165.2

Sweden

6954.1

25939.2

Czech Republic

9608.3

19597.6

Estonia

17379.6

16710.9

Finland

10222.5

15259.7

Switzerland

15617

14985.2

Denmark

4393.7

9195

Italy

8967.6

5644.5

Lichtenstein

7816.6

5304.8

Bulgaria

1250.6

3219.6

Slovakia

2606.6

1279.4

France

1402.2

1235.2

Belgium

1832.3

1182.1

Ireland

312.2

630

Slovenia

1194.7

536.8

Luxembourg

1121.6

447

Romania

516

352.9

Norway

147.7

299.3

Spain

468.1

276.5

Greece

263

114

Source: National Statistics Committee of Belarus.

The main European investors in Belarus are residents of the UK, Cyprus, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, British Virgin Islands, Sweden, Czech Republic and Estonia.