The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is to loan some US$90m to Ukraine's number two supermarket chain Furshet.

The EBRD said the loan would help Furshet open more stores in the Ukraine.

Furshet, in which French retail giant Auchan owns a 20% stake, is aiming to take its numbers of stores in the country from 86 to over 100.

Furshet chairman Igor Balenko said: ""We appreciate the fact that the EBRD considered us as a reliable partner and very proud of having such a big transaction with one of the most respectable financial investors."

EBRD director for agribusiness Gilles Mettetal added: "is the biggest and most important deal the EBRD has done in the retail sector in Ukraine, and we hope not the last one with Furshet."