In Uzbekistan, the chances of withdrawing cash from an ATM imported from Hungary are increasing. Following the delivery of 1,000 ATM machines to Agrobank, the largest bank in the Central Asian country, an agreement has now been signed with Mikrokreditbank for the delivery of 300 ATM machines. The ATM machines are manufactured by NCR Hungary Ltd., while the distributor and direct exporter is an SME-sized Hungarian company, Spectrum Security Safety Ltd.
The cooperation between the manufacturer NCR Hungary and the small Hungarian distributor exporting the machines to the foreign market goes back 3 years. Initially, Spectrum Security Safety Ltd. provided the necessary expertise for the right configuration of the machines, organizing training for the operating and servicing personnel, and transportation and logistics services. The manufacturer sells exclusively through distributors in Uzbekhistan, so seeing the opportunity, the owner József Kovács started to explore the possibilities in the CIS region. "Our story is a good example of how the first step in getting into the foreign market is the hardest; the Agrobank contract concluded in 2019 was preceded by many years of work. Since then, however, new promising business opportunities have opened" says the owner of Spectrum Security Safety about the prelude to the new milestone of their presence in the foreign market, adding that "an export transaction of such a volume requires a special financing background, i.e., financial products designed for this purpose. Even a 'serious' buyer like a bank may need financing for a multi-million-dollar purchase. And we were able to provide them with a solution through EXIM Hungary. Without this solution, the current transaction would not have been possible. During the ongoing negotiations with other partners, it is practically also part of the "package" that EXIM Hungary can provide them with financing if we can agree on a commercial deal".
EXIM is the official Hungarian export credit agency: it is the financial engine that helps drive the success of Hungarian exporters in foreign markets. EXIM Hungary provides a stable financial background for Hungarian export companies with foreign trade-related credit services and risk-insurance products of the highest international standard that promote the expansion and success of their activities. "In the case of foreign trade transactions of this volume, we, as an export credit agency can make export-oriented domestic products and services internationally competitive also from a financial point of view by providing the so-called buyer credit facility. EXIM Hungary was established 27 years ago for this purpose and since then we have customers in 62 countries, so we provide lending to those all over the world who have chosen Hungarian products but needed money to do so," explains Attila István Szabó, Deputy CEO for Business Operations at EXIM.
"The business achievements of Spectrum Security Safety are an example of how a fruitful business relationship between a Hungarian SME and their customer partner – that can even be a bank - thousands of kilometres away can be established via conscious development and the right strategy. The financial pillar of this relationship is provided by us, in this case in the form of a buyer credit. In countries with higher interest rates, such as Uzbekistan, the financing background we provide has an even greater added value from the point of view of the negotiating position and competitiveness of Hungarian companies. The key is to have the right amount of Hungarian content," the Deputy CEO added.
In connection with the 2019 agreement for 1,000 ATMs, EXIM Hungary provided $10 million in financing to Agrobank. EXIM also secured a USD 3.8 million buyer credit related to a recent agreement on the delivery of 300 ATMs concluded with the Uzbek Mikrokreditbank; a transaction that has been another milestone in the export activity of the SME. A delegation from Mikrokreditbank visited Hungary between 26-30 October 2021, during which a 5-year loan agreement was signed between the two banks.
"Thanks to our references, we are in advanced negotiations with other banks in the region. Of course, the thorough knowledge of the local business culture and economic environment, as well as the occasional personal presence is essential to ensure the success of these negotiations, just as in the case of our former transactions. Given the fact that EXIM Hungary has a foreign representative office responsible for the region, the contribution and the daily professional assistance of our colleague there also has a significant added value in building our relations" - outlined József Kovács the opportunities for the future.