Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Banka për Biznes to grant €5 million in loans to Kosovo SMEs

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, December 14th 2021 à 16:25 | Read 416 times

Arton Celina, General Manager of BPB, and Matteo Colangeli, Regional Director of EBRD, signed a loan agreement (photo: BPB)
Arton Celina, General Manager of BPB, and Matteo Colangeli, Regional Director of EBRD, signed a loan agreement (photo: BPB)
KOSOVO. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a €5m credit line to Banka për Biznes (BPB) on Thursday 9 December 2021. As for the first one already granted in 2018 and fully absorbed, it will allow the Kosovar bank to support local SMEs by on-lending this sum to them.

The package, which is part of the EBRD's Western Balkans Sme Competitiveness Support Programme, is accompanied by technical assistance from the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) and grants of up to 15% of the total loan amount when the project is successfully completed.

"The aim is to help SMEs to modernise their activities and take advantage of business opportunities in the Western Balkans region and the wider European market," said an EBRD press release. The funds will help achieve the best industrial standards and implement EU directives. The funds will mainly cover environmental protection, health and safety and product quality.

​Contributing to the overall performance of SMEs in Kosovo

"At least 60% of the package will support energy saving investments," the EBRD said.  "This new financing will facilitate the access of small businesses to well-structured finance, which will help them to become more competitive and recover from the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic," commented Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans.

Founded in 2001, the Kosovar bank offers a wide range of commercial banking products, particularly for SMEs. "This credit line has shown that it not only helps our clients, but also contributes to the overall performance of SMEs in Kosovo. As a result, they are becoming more competitive in the national and international markets," said Arton Celina, CEO of BPB.

In March 2019, the EBRD and the European Union had opened a support programme for Kosovo smes consisting of loans, incentive grants and technical assistance to BPB and Procredit Bank. "The EU is and will remain Kosovo's main donor, investor and business partner," said Luigi Brusa, Head of Cooperation at the EU office in Kosovo.

On Thursday 9 December 2021, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, announced that the Western Balkans would be one of the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which France will hold from 1 January 2022.


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