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ProCredit Bank obtains €30m to finance Serbian SMEs


Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, June 14th 2022 à 15:20 | Read 304 times



The EBRD forecasts a growth of 3.3% in 2022 for Serbia (photo: EBRD)
The EBRD forecasts a growth of 3.3% in 2022 for Serbia (photo: EBRD)
SERBIA. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is opening a €30m credit line to ProCredit Bank. The Serbian bank will on-lend the funds to small local businesses. It will "improve the availability of finance for SMEs and support their post-pandemic recovery, as well as investments in new equipment, facilities and operations," says an EBRD statement.

"This is particularly necessary after the pandemic-induced slowdown and in the context of continued disruptions in world trade, and we hope that this new financing will help many companies to recover and boost their business," said Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director responsible for Serbia.

The economy of this country of 8.69 million inhabitants is essentially based on services (68.9% of GDP) and industry (29.1%). The EBRD forecasts GDP growth of 3.3% in 2022 and 4% in 2023. It stood at €53.31bn in 2021, up 7.4% on the previous year.

Serbia joined forces in the summer of 2021 with Albania and Northern Macedonia in the "Open Balkans ". This free trade agreement - which is intended to be a "Mini-Schengen", its first name - is designed to prepare for the entry of these states into the European Union, and should be operational on 1 January 2023.

20% of the credit line dedicated to green investments

"Our strategic partnership with the EBRD allows us to provide continuous and regular support to SMEs, a sector in which we have been investing for two decades now. This brand new credit line gives our sme clients the opportunity to improve their operations and upgrade their equipment, so that they can install new machines with energy-efficient technologies," commented Igor Anić, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ProCredit Bank.

The Serbian bank of the German ProCredit Group works regularly with the EBRD, which has already assisted it in boosting the resilience and competitiveness of SMEs and helping individuals to invest in energy efficiency.

20% of this new credit line should be used to finance green investments. This includes investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The EBRD is one of the main institutional investors in Serbia with 306 projects financed to date for a total amount of €7.27 billion devoted to supporting private sector development (56% of the portfolio), improving public utility services and the overall transition to a green economy.



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