The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Serbia with a €30 million loan to ProCredit Bank.
The loan will improve the availability of funding for SMEs and support their post-pandemic recovery, along with investments in new equipment, facilities and operations. Around 20 per cent of the credit line will go to investments that can improve energy efficiency or investments in renewable energy.
SMEs account for the bulk of all enterprises registered in Serbia and are the engine of the country’s economic growth. Providing them with access to finance is more important than ever, in particular, to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ProCredit Group, headquartered in Frankfurt, is a development-oriented, international commercial bank, active in many of the economies where the EBRD invests. The EBRD has a long history of cooperation with ProCredit Bank in Serbia. In recent years, the bank has focused on providing funding to boost SME resilience and competitiveness and to private individuals to invest in energy efficiency.
Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director and Head of Serbia, said: “We are pleased to be working with ProCredit Bank once again to help small and medium-sized businesses in Serbia access the finance they need to grow and become more competitive. This is particularly needed following the slowdown induced by the pandemic and amid ongoing disruptions to global trade, and we hope this fresh financing will help many companies to recover from it and boost their business.”
Igor Anić, Chairman of the Executive Board of ProCredit Bank, said: “Our strategic partnership with the EBRD allows us to provide continuous, regular support to SMEs, a sector we have invested in for two decades now. This newest credit line gives our SME clients the opportunity to improve their operations and upgrade equipment, so that new machinery with energy-efficient technology can be installed.”
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia and has invested more than €7.3 billion in the country to date. The Bank focuses on support for private-sector development, the improvement of public utility services and the overall transition to a green economy.
Photo: Procredit bank