The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will lend US$30m to Russia's Lenta Group, to build three more warehouse stores in St Petersburg, doubling its presence in the city.

The bank said: "Lenta is at the vanguard of an emerging trend in Russian food retailing: large cash-and-carry warehouses, open 24 hours-a-day, carrying a wide range of merchandise at competitive prices."

The bank is also lending US$13.15m to overseas subsidiaries of Turkey's Ulker Group. US$8.9m goes to Eurex Alimentare for a new Romania factory producing Ulker-branded biscuits, chocolate, bouillon and margarine; US$4.25m goes to Hamle, of Kazakhstan, to modernise and expand biscuit and chocolate production.