Banking, finance and capital markets in Belarus

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Since 2010, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has stood out for its involvement with all issuances and placements of sovereign eurobonds on external state markets; recently, the team also handled a direct issuance of eurobonds by a Belarusian corporate. Managing partner Dennis Turovets is regularly instructed by international clients interested in exploring investment opportunities in Belarus. Senior associates Alexander Buzo and Anastasia Yarokhovich count the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Eurasian Development Bank among their core clients.

Practice head(s):

Dennis Turovets

Other key lawyers:

Anastasia Yarokhovich; Alexander Buzo

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Work highlights

  • Advising the joint lead managers on the issuance of sovereign eurobonds worth $1.25bn.
  • Advising the joint lead managers on the debut direct issuance and placement of corporate Eurobonds by the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Belarusian authorities on the preparation of the first PPP project in Belarus.

Sorainen

A multitude of notable national and international financial institutions, including the European Investment Bank and Raiffeisen Bank, instruct the team at Sorainen, which recently worked on the first cross-border derivative transaction involving a Belarusian corporate. Managing partner Kiryl Apanasevich's diverse workload includes advising on asset deals and project financing. Apansevich jointly leads the finance and insurance group with senior associate Ann Laevskaya, who regularly assists clients with the structuring and implementation of complex transactions, prepares and negotiates security instruments, and handles regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Kiryl Apanasevich

Other key lawyers:

Ann Laevskaya

Testimonials

The team provided very clear technical advice, with clear guidance as to what was necessary and what was nice to have.

Ann Laevskaya was very available, provided clear and concise advice. I was impressed with the quality.

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Mogo Credit LLC

European Investment Bank (EIB)

Kaamos Group

Lacerta

Imena Media

DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft )

International Finance Corporation

Raiffeisenbank International AG

Eurotorg LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the provision of €200m financing package to Belarusian subsidiaries of the Kronospan group.
  • Advised the European Investment Bank on its three lending transactions with Belarusian financial institutions, which had a total value of €135m.
  • Prepared a memorandum for the International Swaps & Derivatives Association detailing the legal and regulatory framework applicable to derivative transactions under the laws of the Republic of Belarus.

Verkhovodko & Partners LLC

Verkhovodko & Partners LLC's proficiency is exemplified by its enviable client roster, which includes foreign and domestic commercial banks, insurance companies, asset-based lenders and borrowers operating in a wide range of industries. The practice regularly assists both inter-governmental and inter-bank with loan agreements, as well as handling matters relating to foreign loans necessary for the implementation of projects in Belarus. Experienced practitioners Dmitry Bokhan and Nina Knyazeva jointly lead the team, which also includes senior associate Irina Veremeichuk.

Practice head(s):

Dmitry Bokhan; Nina Knyazeva

Other key lawyers:

Irina Veremeichuk

Key clients

Sberbank Capital

BelVEBleasing

Modus Group

Minsk Transit Bank CJSC

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (Brazilian Development Bank)

NAFTAN

EPAM Systems

Belavia Belarusian Airlines

Zeppelin-CAT

Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO)

Work highlights

  • Advising Sberbank Capital on a cross-border investment project.
  • Assisting Genesis Aviation with the cross-border sale of an aircraft, leased by a Belarusian company.
  • Assisted the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation with the preparation of loan-related documents.

VMP Vlasova Mikhel & Partners

The banking and finance team at VMP Vlasova Mikhel & Partners regularly acts as local counsel for both leading international law firms and notable global financial institutions. The group is noted for its proficiency in handling a wide range of matters, including project finance agreements and regulatory issues. Practice head Tatiana Emelianova stands out for her transactional expertise, and has extensive experience advising on bilateral and syndicated loans, trade finance arrangements, and derivatives. Emelianova is ably supported by associate Yuliya Ermolenko.

Practice head(s):

Tatiana Emelianova

Other key lawyers:

Yuliya Ermolenko

Key clients

EBRD

China Development bank

Eurasian Development Bank

Gazprombank

Alfa Bank

Commerzbank

Unicredit Bank

Export-Import Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Advised the China Development Bank on its term facility loan to the Republic of Belarus.
  • Advising a group of Russian banking institutions on the provision of a syndicated loan to a Belarussian food retailer.
  • Assisting the Export-Import Bank of China with its provision of a euro facility to Belarusian Railway.

Arzinger Law Offices

Sergey Mashonsky and Juri Slepitch jointly lead the team at Arzinger Law Offices, which is recommended for its 'ability to find the most suitable solution' when it comes to a multitude of transactional and project finance issues. Recent notable activity for the firm includes advising the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus on the development of a national strategy for attracting foreign investments. Klim Stashevsky leads on matters which require in-depth review of international exchange requirements, while Evgenia Seregina focuses on assisting with the funding of renewable energy and construction projects.

Practice head(s):

Sergey Mashonsky; Juri Slepitch

Other key lawyers:

Klim Stashevsky; Evgenia Seregina

Testimonials

We were surprised by their efficiency in solving issues of various complexity and the ability to find the most suitable solution based on identified risks.

Sergey Mashonsky has great experience in investment projects. His support was of great help to us throughout the whole project. His great negotiation skills, experience, and generally high professionalism allow solving problems of any complexity.

The high level of expertise and competence of Klim Stashevsky in the sphere of international trade allows us to prepare all necessary contracts with our counterparties, taking into account all legislative peculiarities and our risks.

Key clients

Belarusbank

Reshenie Bank

Octapharma AG

Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Plant

Triniti Invest

AKA Bank

Eximbank of Russia

Multipack

WorldRemit

International Finance Corporation

Development Bank

MasterCard

Ministry for Natural Resources of the Republic of Belarus

Belarusian Railway

Work highlights

  • Advised the state association Belarusian Railway, acting as the borrower, on the loan agreement and account pledge agreement entered into between the borrower and the Export-Import Bank of China.
  • Advised the AKA Bank on the provision of a direct financing line to Multipack, a Belarusian manufacturer of packaging products.
  • Advised a Swedish manufacturer on providing a subordinated loan to a Belarus-based supplier.

Borovtsov & Salei

Borovtsov & Salei's broad practice encompasses advising local and international clients on the acquisition of commercial banks, various issues of capital increase, loans and other types of financing, and all manner of insurance issues. Under the leadership of Alexander Botian, the team continues to increase its expertise in the IT sector, especially where blockchain and crypto-related matters are involved; senior associates Illia Salei and Nikolay Artemyev count many start-ups and software developers among their key clients. Associate Saman Negaresh is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Botian

Other key lawyers:

Illia Salei; Nikolay Artemyev; Saman Negaresh

Testimonials

Strong team flexible to changing business circumstances.

Illia Salei is very adjustable to business needs and can very clear but persuasively explains the specifics of local laws.

‘We are particularly happy and impressed with the work of Nikolay Artemyev who proved to be smart, flexible and always ready to produce the results expected in a given situation.’

Key clients

Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Finance Corporation

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

VTB Bank, Public Stock Company (Russia)

Toyota Bank (Russia)

Food Union Management SIA (Latvia)

Financial company Forex Club LLC

Mogo Finance LLC

Visa Inc. (USA)

SoftClub LLC

SEW-Eurodrive

Work highlights

  • Advising the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the funding of Be Cloud, a leading Belarusian provider of telecommunications and IT infrastructure.
  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a full range of legal issues relating to the financing of a major sawmill company.
  • Advising the International Finance Corporation on the ISDA master agreement and schedule between the client and Belarusky Narodny Bank.

REVERA

Senior associate Olga Polozova takes the lead at REVERA, and focuses on providing advice on financings and loan agreements, as well as assisting with regulatory issues. Clients from the retail, construction and manufacturing industries frequently instruct the team, which is also seeing a growth in work within the IT sector.  Dmitry Arkhipenko is the key contact for major investment projects which the firm is known for advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on such matters.

Practice head(s):

Olga Polozova

Other key lawyers:

Dmitry Arkhipenko

Key clients

BPS-Sberbank

Sberbank (Czech Republic)

EXIM Bank of Russia

VTB Bank (Russia)

Infront Sports & Media AG

Work highlights

  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on its €20m secured loan to EuroTorg, a major Belarusian retail chain.
  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a prospective programme for the financial support of small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Advising RosEximBank on the provision of an unsecured loan to Eurotorg, a major Belarusian retail chain.

SBH Law Office

The 'very balanced' team at SBH Law Office leverages its 'deep market understanding' to advise international and domestic financial organisations and venture funds on their investments into projects from a broad range of sectors in Belarus. Assisting both banks and borrowers with the refinancing of loan obligations is another core strength of the group. The practice is jointly headed by 'good communicator' Alexander Bondar and 'very efficient and professional' practitioner Anastasiya Malakhova. Senior associate Evgeniya Starosotnikova is a regular point of contact for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and also advises a number of notable IT clients.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Bondar; Anastasiya Malakhova

Other key lawyers:

Evgeniya Starosotnikova

Testimonials

The team of SBH Law Office is very balanced and can support all legal aspects of any firm’s activities.

Impeccable reputation of the company and the partners in the country, attention to the client needs, professional knowledge, deep market understanding.

Working with Alexander Bondar is a real pleasure due to his key strengths: positive, reliable, confident, good communicator, understands the industry, has a solid weight as a professional.

Our main contact – Anastasiya Malakhova – is a very efficient and professional person on the one hand, and easy-going person on the other.

‘SBH Law Office provides us with the full range of legal support, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of our industry.’

‘We can’t say enough about the great job SBH Law Office is doing for us. SBH Law Office has great experience in supporting large investment projects in Belarus and the team is very competent in realisation of the projects. They fully understand the needs of investors such as EBRD and EIB. We would highly recommend SBH Law Office to anyone dealing with international investment projects.’

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Tech Minsk (Investment Fund)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Kolos Ventures

Free2Ex

Bank Reshenie JSC

MTBank

Minsk water supplier (Minskvodokanal)

Work highlights

  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on its investment into the Mila Group, on its provision of a loan and equity investment to the Mark Formelle group, and on its provision of a loan to the Sodrugestv Group.
  • Advised Kolos Ventures on the establishment of a licensed fund with management companies in Belarus and Cyprus.
  • Assisted the United Nations Development Programme with a project concerned with supporting the economic development at the local level in the Republic of Belarus by means of international assistance.

Aleinikov & Partners

The team at Aleinikov & Partners stands out for its fintech expertise, and recently assisted Bank BelVEB, a subsidiary of VEB.RF with the creation of the first platform for the release of digital financial assets in Belarus. The key contacts are Dmitry Matveyev and Denis Aleinikov, and the latter is also a member of the Digital Economy Development Council. Venture financing is another area of expertise for the group.

Practice head(s):

Dmitry Matveyev

Other key lawyers:

Denis Aleinikov

Key clients

The Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus

Alfa-bank (Belarus)

Belvnesheconombank (Bank BelVEB, a subsidiary of VEB.RF)

Recovia AB

Virtuality Park (a creator of one of the Europe’s largest amusement parks Teleport VR)

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus with drafting a regulatory legal act aimed at entitling the DBRB to conduct venture capital financing.
  • Advising a member-company of Belvnesheconombank’s banking holding on launching an online investment platform.

Stepanovski, Papakul and partners

Global financial institutions turn to the team at Stepanovski, Papakul and partners for assistance with loan repayment obligations, project finance arrangements, and regulatory issues. Valery Papakul has considerable experience in developing investment agreements with the Republic of Belarus, as well as advising on amendments to the law around investments. Sviatlana Valuyeva has a wide practice with a particular focus on structured secured loans.

Practice head(s):

Valery Papakul; Sviatlana Valuyeva

Testimonials

Very cooperative.

Key clients

Gazprombank AO

Commerzbank AG

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Promsvyazbank JSC

Bizzozero and partners

Rietumu Bank JSC

Expobank LLC

Scania Credit AB

International Financial Corporation (World Bank) (IFC)

Work highlights

  • Assisted IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with an analysis of the existing legal, regulatory and institutional framework to assess the possibility of the creation of a partial credit guarantee scheme to facilitate SME access to finance in Belarus.
  • Advising Promsvyazbank on its $47m secured loan.
  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on entering and signing loan facilities with a special instrument of grant provisions under the FINTECC framework.