RAMBLER NEWS SERVICE. Japanese lending institutions Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JPIC) will commence to lend small and mid-sized businesses in Russia. They will operate through Alfa Bank, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported.

Alfa Bank's creditworthiness will be guaranteed by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

Despite the fact that Alfa Bank is a major private lender in Russia, its credit profile, including total assets, is much lower than that of state-backed creditors. NEXI will provide guarantees so that Japanese banks avoid risks associated with possible bad debt.

NEXI and the banks plan to sign a memorandum of understanding with Alfa Bank during an upcoming visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan (the Russian leader will be in japan on December 15-16). Total lending, according to the paper's data, will reach several hundreds of millions of dollars.

The banks plan to launch lending of Russian SMEs in 2017.

Using Japanese loans, Russian companies will be able to buy Japanese goods, the paper specified.