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EBRD doubles up on Ukrainian grain

After providing $40m to GNT in 2015, the development bank has approved a fresh infusion of funds to help the grain operator improve its infrastructure.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has once again backed GNT, a Ukrainian integrated grain supply and export logistics group, this time with a $20 million senior loan.

The funds will enable GNT to improve its infrastructure as the company faces growing customer demand. It also aims to provide the company with better links with local farmers in order to maintain processing volumes at its newly-expanded grain terminals, the bank said.

In recent years, Ukraine has established itself as one of the world’s largest producers of crops, the EBRD emphasized. The country currently harvests over 60 million tons of grain per year, making investments in modern grain-handling facilities and infrastructure in general increasingly necessary.

The EBRD, the largest international financial investor in the country, has been investing in Ukraine since 1993 across a number of sectors. In 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, the EBRD renewed its commitment to the country and its agribusiness sector in particular, earmarking $1 billion in investments with the help of its agribusiness clients.

A year later, the development bank approved a $40 million loan to GNT, enabling the company to expand its existing grain terminals. Other agribusinesses the EBRD has supported in the country include Ukrainian Agrarian Investors, grain producer Nibulon and Astarta Grain.

Overall, the bank has invested nearly €11.6 billion through 383 projects in the country. Its current portfolio, as of July 31, 2017, stood at €3.8 billion, with 26 percent of the total, or €986 million, representing investments in the industrial, commercial and agribusiness sectors.