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Banking

Local development bank unveils plans to double lending in Black Sea region

Retreat by western IFIs creates opportunities for smaller multilateral banks, says BSTDB president Dmitry Pankin.

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has announced plans to more than double its balance sheet in a bid to boost its presence in central and eastern Europe (CEE).

Set up in 1997, the bank is an offshoot of a Turkish-led project to promote economic cooperation between countries around the Black Sea.

Since starting operations in 1999, it has distributed around €5 billion in funding but has struggled to define its role in a region well-covered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other western development organizations.

The task has been complicated by BSTDB’s disparate and often discordant membership. Russia, Turkey and Greece are the three largest shareholders with 16.5% apiece. Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine also own more than 10% each, while five other members – Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova – hold smaller stakes.

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Dmitry Pankin, BSTDB

Dmitry Pankin, BSTDB’s new president, is well aware of the challenges facing the bank. As deputy finance minister of Russia he served on BSTDB’s board for two years before moving to head up the Russian-backed Eurasian Development Bank in 2015.

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