In 2019, International Bank for Economic Co-operation continued to implement its updated development strategy, focusing on key business areas (trade and syndicated financing, the SME sector and the green economy support, interbank settlements). By the end of the year, the Bank’s assets exceeded € 650 million, showing growth of more than 61% since the beginning of the year.
IBEC loan and documentary portfolio has continued its growth, which began in 2018, and increased by more than 208 million euros in the reporting year. According to preliminary results, its size at the end of 2019 amounted to 351 million euros. It is important to note that the Bank's loan and documentary portfolio for the first time exceeded Bank’s equity.
Moreover, in the past year, the geography of IBEC activities was significantly expanded. Financing was provided for the implementation of projects and transactions in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Vietnam, Mongolia, Armenia, Belarus and other countries.
In 2019, the Bank applied the entire range of trade finance instruments (including trade-related targeted trade loans, confirmed and post-financing letters of credit, guarantee operations and interbank reimbursement transactions, financing of international factoring), and also actively participated in syndicated financing transactions.
Key transactions in 2019 include financing of the Polish company Laude Smart Intermodal for the purchase of innovative intermodal freight railway containers and platforms of Russian and Belarusian production, as well as providing a loan to Bulgartransgaz EAD for financing the development of the energy infrastructure of the Balkan Stream project.
Last year, IBEC implemented the first international factoring financing deals for the supply contracts of Russian metallurgical products to Poland and Lithuania, issuing counter guarantees in favor of OTP Bank under contracts for the supply of pharmaceutical products totaling 20,8 million euros in equivalent; interbank reimbursement transactions to support export-import operations of Mongolia and Poland, implemented in partnership with Commerzbank AG totaling 17 million euros in equivalent.
IBEC is also actively developing new instruments and products, including cash management, book2book transfers, and collateral and escrow accounts. Among the first results is a series of pilot agreements with partners of the Bank and their clients from IBEC member states.
2019 was a significant year for the Bank in terms of the beginning of public debt history, diversification of funding sources and an increase in the duration of attracted financial resources. So, for the first time in its new history, the Bank placed a bond issue on the Moscow Exchange in the amount of 7 billion rubles (around 100 million euros in equivalent) for 3 years. Following the successful placement of the bond loan, IBEC attracted a bilateral loan from Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) in the amount of 10 million euros for 2 years, which confirmed the reputation of IBEC as a high-quality and reliable borrower.
IBEC’s supreme governing body, the Bank Council, met twice during the year. At a meeting held in Moscow at the end of May, a number of important decisions were made that contributed to the further development of the business and the speed of decision-making. At the end of November, the Bank Council was held in Vietnam. Preliminary results in 2019 were summed up, the budget for 2020 was reviewed and approved. Moreover, rights before the meetings of the Bank Council, for the first time business forums under the auspices of IBEC were organized. The first forum “Europe-CIS. 4D” was held at the end of May in Moscow and was organized by the Bank with the support of the Banking Association of Eastern and Central Europe (BACEE), the CIS Financial and Banking Council and TKB BANK. The forum brought together more than 200 participants mainly from European countries, Russia, as well as Vietnam and Mongolia. In Hanoi, the second business forum “Enhancing Trade Cooperation of Vietnam with CEE and Eurasia” was organized jointly with the с State Bank of Vietnam. The Forum was attended by representatives of the largest Vietnamese financial institutions and companies, heads of relevant state institutions, representatives of foreign and international corporations accredited in Vietnam, experts, and media representatives.