Despite the circumstances created by Covid-19, the amount of loans provided by BlueOrange in the first half of the year exceeded EUR 50 million. The bank was particularly active in lending to the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises, which represents 62% of the total loans issued by the bank during the first half of the year.

Even if the general economic conditions were unfavourable, a number of sectors experienced rapid growth in the first half of the year, with an increased demand for additional funding for both the replenishment of current assets and the modernisation of the production base. These are food processing companies, particularly meat and fish canning producers, as well as producers of hygiene products. In the emergency situation, the real estate sector also continued developing, and BlueOrange funded several housing development projects during this period, representing 22% of the total loans provided by the Bank during the first half of the year.

More than half of the total loans were granted to new customers of the bank, amounting nearly to EUR 30 million. Under business lending programmes, funding is allocated to investment projects, such as the purchase of new equipment and vehicles, renovation or purchase of production and office premises, and replenishment of current assets for the purchase of raw materials and the establishment of goods stocks. The total lending amount of BlueOrange is expected to reach EUR 150 million in 2020.

In the first months of the second half of the year, a number of economy sectors are experiencing recovery. Seasonality is partly a factor in their activity: there is currently a particularly strong development in agricultural trade and wood processing. Signing of contracts for the purchase of new harvest agricultural goods also starts in July and August.

“Given the prolonged drought in southern regions of Russia and rainy weather, for example, in France, a shortage of food grains and other agricultural commodities can be anticipated this season and, therefore, — a rise in price. The bank is currently active in financing projects directly for wholesalers of agricultural goods exporting agricultural commodities from Latvia or carrying them in transit from eastern countries to the west. Transit goods handling in its turn contributes to the development of transport sector and increased activity in Latvian ports, which have experienced a significant drop in the first half of the year,”

 - notes Marina Antonova, the head of the Loan Department of BlueOrange.

In the second half of the year, one of the main priorities for BlueOrange is lending to small and medium-sized businesses. In order to ensure availability of funding, the bank has developed a programme providing the funding in a simplified and accelerated manner. The programme is intended to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Latvia and provides for funding in the amount of EUR 50–300 thousand.

“Being aware of the key role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the recovery of Latvia's economy, the bank has set lending to such companies as one of its priorities. We support both long-term investment projects aimed at the purchase of new equipment, upgrade and refurbishment of technology, and projects for the replenishment of current assets. Business recovery often requires fast decision-taking, so we pay particular attention on taking business lending decisions in a relatively short time in order to provide funding for companies within the time limits required,”

 - notes Dmitrijs Latisevs, CEO of BlueOrange Bank. 

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