The 135th Meeting of the Council of the International Bank for Economic Co-operation was held on December 8. For the first time in the Bank’s history, the meeting was held in a unique videoconference format on the basis of a specialized platform for the meetings of collegial bodies. The only way to conduct it in a pandemic allows us to say that the Council was held simultaneously in all capitals of the IBEC member countries. The new format of the Council, to some extent, contributed to a more lively and intense dialogue, making it possible to connect to the event for many of the extremely busy heads of delegations, who are the leaders of the financial institutions of the member countries, and allowed them not to be distracted by organizational issues. Moreover, the agenda contained both traditional issues of annual performance results and a number of key topics on the further development of the Bank.
In general, this year the Bank has developed with dynamics outstripping the 2020 targets. Thus, in the first half of the year assets amounted to EUR 739 million, which is 20% more than the plan at the end of the year. The growth of the documentary portfolio amounted to 10%, which is directly related to the client-oriented approach and the development of the product line.
A significant factor in the IBEC activities was the increase in the share of long-term resources in the structure of attracted funds, this year this figure exceeded 50%, reaching EUR 214 million euros, while 2.5 years ago it was equal to zero.
Against the background of restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for almost the entire 2020 in connection with, the Bank has implemented the key goals of the annual plan, responding quickly to new challenges and tasks. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the following industries for the overall development – medicine and medical technologies, transport infrastructure, insurance. All these sectors are significantly represented in the IBEC portfolio, which was replenished with important projects during 2020. Among them – participation in financing of the Ulan Bator railway modernization in cooperation with EXIAR, a loan for the Bulgarian holding Eurohold, the beginning of trade finance operations in the Czech and Hungarian markets. The achievement of the current year has become the geographical diversification of operations, which now cover the markets of all participating countries and are successfully moving to other countries, both in the Asian and European directions.
Bank’s credit ratings have become an important indicator that the IBEC has chosen the right vector of development and is implementing a balanced policy. IBEC currently has the following ratings: BBB- from Fitch agency with a positive outlook, Baa3 from Moody’s agency with a stable outlook, A- / AAA (RU) from the Russian agency ACRA and BBB with a stable outlook from ACRA Europe.
The central issue of the agenda – the medium-term development strategy of IBEC for the period 2021-2025, which was adopted by the Council. The document combines the general directions of the Bank's development in the context of global socio-economic trends, the realities of international financial markets with the specifics and priorities of each of the IBEC member countries.
The principle underlying the Bank's new strategy is growth for the sake of stability, which consists in a dynamic combination of sustainability at each specific moment and building up key f and competencies throughout the five-year period for which the document is designed. At the same time, the increased turbulence has been taken into account and the document includes a special mechanism for updating strategic plans, implemented through a new business model and a KPI system for all employees.
Among the long-term priorities of international development reflected in the IBEC Strategy are the "green" economy, digital technologies, and medicine. IBEC's objectives correlate with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and will be implemented in a harmonious combination of two approaches – taking into account the priorities for the economies of the Bank's member countries and client-focusedness, based on in-depth analysis and regular monitoring of customer needs and the essential updating of the product line.
The key quantitative benchmarks outlined in the Strategy are an increase in assets to more than EUR 1 billion, which will allow IBEC to reach a qualitatively new level of operating activity. The total volume of lending and documentary operations is expected to exceed EUR 0.7 billion. The emphasis will be placed on the growth of settlement transactions and trade finance operations, which is a unique feature of IBEC among other international financial organizations and development institutions.
Denis Ivanov, Chairman of the IBEC Board, noted that the implementation of such ambitious plans will require not only hard and efficient work of all the Bank's specialists, but also the assistance of IBEC shareholders. This thesis found support among the participants of the meeting.
The Council of the International Bank for Economic Co-operation approved the Regulations on the IBEC observer status. Such a mechanism provides new opportunities for expanding international cooperation, strengthening partnerships with national and international organizations, and entering new country and regional markets.
The Bank's budget for 2021 was also approved. As part of the planned rotation, the Council appointed a new composition of the Bank's Audit Commission, noting the professional and responsible work of the staff who had resigned.
Closing the meeting of the Council, the Chairman of the IBEC Board Denis Ivanov emphasized – "thanks to the correctly chosen development vector, multiplied by the efforts of each employee to prevent external negativity, we managed not only to ensure continuity and stability in our work, but also to achieve significant success!"