Uniastrum Bank: Western Investors Are Interested in Russian Small and Mid-Size Businesses in Siberia

Uniastrum Bank has organized an expert opinion survey in the Siberian Federal District in order to clarify whether Western investors may be interested in the local small and mid-size businesses.

Moscow, Russia, July 25, 2013 --(PR.com)-- The Bank’s experts who have had a rich experience in cooperating with small and mid-size businesses, in particular, in the Siberian Federal District, have analyzed the condition of the real sector of the Siberian economy and identified the industries which may be of interest to the Western investors, and a large proportion of such industries is represented by SMEs.

The interest the Russian entrepreneurs take in the attraction of financing from the West and in foreign investors for prospective Russian SME projects may be mutual: this conclusion was made by Uniastrum Bank after UB had analyzed the results of the expert opinion survey which involved the managers of the Bank’s regional units who work in the Siberian Federal District. Western investors may choose different ways to participate in the Russian business: direct investments in companies or financing via funds or banks actively cooperating with regional SMEs. The most important thing is to make the right choice of projects and to assess the prospects considering the local specifics.

Such industries as agriculture, in particular, processing of agri supplies, timber processing, tourism, the high tech sector are developing successfully in the Siberian Federal District. UB experts are speaking in more detail about some sectors of potential interest on behalf of foreign investors.

“As the Altai Territory is an agricultural region, investors may be interested in such economic sectors as food industry - processing of agri supplies, as well as machine-building – agricultural equipment and spare parts, timber processing, construction. Cattle-breeding, leisure and tourism may be of equal interest because these sectors are actively developing in our region,” says Larisa Pivovarova.

“It is no doubt that the small business in the Tomsk region may be attractive for Western investors, especially in the long-term perspective. First, the profitability will be positively influenced by the difference between the loan interest rates for this segment in Russia and abroad which exceeds 10%. Besides, the SME segment in Russia is only starting to develop which promises good growth prospects,” says Manager of the UB branch in Tomsk Marina Bashkeeva.

Today the Tomsk region is a top-5 innovative Russian region having all components of a regional innovative system and a powerful scientific & educational potential. All of this makes the Tomsk region very attractive: besides the unique human potential and rich natural resources it also offers a very favorable regulatory environment for investment, benefits of a special economic innovation area. A number of countries are already successfully investing in the small and mid-size business of the region: People’s Republic of China in the timber complex, Taiwan - in the development of technology, staff training, setting up and maintaining of joint investment ventures.

“The knowledge intensive business is also gaining momentum: annual growth of high-tech production volume makes around 40%, and innovative one, 25%,” adds Marina Bashkeeva.

In Novosibirsk, the key SME segment business lines are represented by extraction and processing of natural resources, agricultural and transport & logistics complex development, timber processing industry, tourism. Western investment may be interesting to companies engaged in these sectors and to entrepreneurs engaged in IT and high tech technology development. Mongolia and China, due to their proximity, are the key foreign investors today in the Novosibirsk region. But thanks to the developing business, convenient location in terms of logistics, good scientific & production basis, the region has a high potential which is proved by the recent negotiations with Austrian investors.

The Baikal lake is of course a jewel of the Irkutsk region. A big number of small businesses are already and may in future be involved in the development of its infrastructure. Like the touristic sector of the regions, they have a high investment potential.

Krasnoyarsk is another big and well-developed industrial center. Industries like transport, machine-building, food production, chemical and wood-processing and non-ferrous metallurgy are the most developed ones. In the Siberian Federal District, the small business in Krasnoyarsk is only second to the small business in Novosibirsk. Today the number of the SMEs functioning in the region exceeds 4,500.

Uniastrum Bank is a top-20 bank in the Siberian Federal District by the volume of loans disbursed to SMEs in 2012. As of 01.01.2013, the bank was ranked 17th in the ranking list prepared by the Russian rating agency Expert RA. The loans disbursed by the bank to SMEs during the last year in the Siberian Federal District amount to Rb 2.15 bn. In terms of the total loan portfolio amount, Uniastrum Bank is a top-10 Russian bank following the 2012 results.
Uniastrum Bank
Kseniya Chernisheva
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