BELGRADE (Serbia), March 4 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Friday it is providing Unicredit Bank Serbia with a financial package of 79 million euro ($110 million) for onward lending to support energy efficiency, competitiveness and small and medium-sized companies.
Here is what the EBRD said in a statement:
“The EBRD is providing Unicredit Bank Serbia with a comprehensive financial package which will support Serbian companies in their drive to modernise and upgrade their production as the country and its neighbours return to stronger growth after the global financial crisis.
The package consists of a €9 million energy efficiency loan, a €10 million loan to support competitiveness and a €60 million credit line for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and medium corporates. The loans will provide local private companies with medium and long term financing by helping to overcome existing market barriers which continue to prevent enterprises from engaging in priority investments.
Especially in economically challenging times, many small and medium-sized companies tend to focus on financing needs of their core business rather than upgrades aimed at enhancing their quality, productivity and export potential. It is expected that the tailor-made EBRD package will help overcome these barriers by demonstrating, for instance, the enormous potential for savings through more efficient use of energy.
“With our financial package we will support the Serbian real economy through our long-standing partner – Unicredit Bank Serbia,” said Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions. “Through this programme we are providing much-needed access to finance, but also know-how and expertise in critical areas for the economy. Strengthening competitiveness is crucial for the future success of Serbia’s companies and this facility will strongly support this process,” he added.
“Our long and outstanding co-operation of many years with EBRD will be further enhanced by undertaking these new three facilities,” said Klaus Priverschek, President of the Management Board (CEO) of Unicredit Bank Serbia. “Clients will benefit from the technical assistance granted under the two facilities and from long-term financing provided under all three facilities. This will have a positive impact on the Serbian economy.”
The energy efficiency and competitiveness loans have been supported by technical co-operation funds provided by the European Union under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance and by the Western Balkans Multi-donor Fund.
To-date the EBRD has invested in Serbia around €2.5 billion in more than 150 projects with a total value of some €6 billion. While supporting all sectors of the economy, the EBRD priorities in the country are the corporate and financial sectors and infrastructure.”