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Money for good name: How Crimean companies win credit reputation

November 18, 2016, 18:35 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Over the last two years, lack of credit history was one of the main obstacles for Crimean companies for getting loans from Russian banks

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© Alexei Pavlishak/ITAR-TASS

SIMFEROPOL, November 18. /TASS/. Crimea is behind other Russian regions in terms of availability of bank financing for companies. Local companies manage to receive loans despite a limited number of banks on the peninsula. However, businessmen and expert note, it would be easier to get loans for companies, if there were more banks in the region.

"We note that the availability of funds in Crimea is the lowest (in Russia). We would like more banks to start operating there. Either the banks which are present there could boost their lending operations for small and medium businesses," Alexander Kalinin, president of the All-Russian organization of small and medium businesses told TASS.

He noted that since the beginning of the year the Central Bank revoked licenses from three banks that operated in Crimea, which had a negative impact on local companies.

"Those banks had affiliates in Crimea and as a result certain Crimean companies suffered from it," Kalinin said.

Over the last two years, lack of credit history was one of the main obstacles for Crimean companies for getting loans from Russian banks.

"Now our company has no difficulties with loans. Genbank has opened a credit line for us for replenishment of working assets. The talks started in May and in July they granted the loan. But before that we failed to receive funds starting from 2014, actually when we became part of Russia, we could not receive anything at all. That was because the company did not have a credit history. Our company has been working on the market for 15 years already but Russian bankers did not know us," head of Golden Fish (Sevastopol-based fishing company,) Grigory Telebey said.

According to him, those companies which do not have collateralized property to secure loans have difficulties.

"For example, I know that half of the companies in our fishing industry do not have their own vessels and they hire them. These are stable companies but it is impossible for them to get loans due to lack of their own property," Telebey said.

But bankers understand that in order to operate in Crimea they also should adjust to local conditions. Currently, more than ten Russian banks are operating in Crimea and Sevastopol, including Genbank (main bank of the Crimea administration) and RNCB (the strategic bank of the Crimea republic with 100% state participation).

According to the head of the press service of RNCB Diana Skliarenko the obstacles for receiving a loan are: lack of liquid collateral, lack of registration of the proposed collateral, as well as the low level of accounting and reporting, which makes it impossible for a bank to conduct a financial analysis of the borrower.

But by now both bankers and companies learned how to cope with most of these issues, she said.

"The problem with the lack of liquid or registered collateral was solved by the bank thanks to intensive use of government business support tools. The problem with low level of accounting is gradually being solved because Crimean entrepreneurs are massively switching to 1C and other programs that allow for qualitative account of economic activities," she said.

An official with Genbank told TASS that the procedure for obtaining a loan in Crimea is not "difficult and long."

"If a borrower complies with the requirements of normative documents of the Central Bank and Genbank, if he is ready to provide a full package of documents, which is necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the borrower, the loan procedure in our bank is not difficult and long," the official said.

In their turn representatives of local companies say that despite all the difficulties banks are ready to make advances to those businesses that are willing to meet all necessary legal requirements.

"For obvious reasons, today only a few reliable top tier banks operating in Crimea, are able to lend such large enterprises like ours. And we are forced to choose from a limited number of offers. But we are among the three most successful and stable enterprises in Crimea, our capital stock is transparent, and we have a sufficient amount of assets that can serve as collateral for the loan, so banks are willing to cooperate with us on the mutually beneficial conditions," Sergei Lebedev, general director of the Civil Inkerman International (wine producer - TASS) told TASS.

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