The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has drawn up plans to lend Russia’s JSC Istochnik up to €30m (US$36.4m) to set up four large format food retail stores in the St. Petersburg area under its Lenta brand.

The company already runs a chain of cash & carry stores, many in the St Petersburg region. The EBRD loan would help fund the acquisition of land, construction and the equipping of the stores.

A supportive memorandum said the finance would “support further development of the Russian retail sector with improved access for the consumer to an efficient, competitive and hygienic shopping environment.”