EBRD supports further development of agribusiness in Serbia

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

The EBRD is acting to boost Serbia’s important agribusiness sector, a crucial area of the country’s economy. The Bank will provide up to €10 million unfunded risk sharing to Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad. It will finance the seasonal working capital needs of Serbian agribusiness companies, using warehouse receipts as collateral.

The facility will be made available under the Warehouse Financing Framework which aims to improve access to funding for agribusinesses and to promote the use of warehouse receipts that demonstrate the viability of lending against agricultural commodities.

The Warehouse Financing Framework for Serbia consists of a risk sharing facility of up to €70 million to be realised with participating banks in Serbia. Since 2010 the EBRD has approved €20 million to Société Générale, €10 million to Banca Intesa and €20 million to Credit Agricole Bank.

“Although this is the fourth in a series of transactions made by the EBRD to Serbian agribusinesses over the two years, it is the first and very important step in developing relations with Erste Bank, an international financial institution that has an increasing interest in Serbia,” said Gilles Mettetal, the EBRD’s Director for Agribusiness.

“In these challenging times Erste Bank Serbia is trying to support companies through the use of efficient schemes that facilitate their access to financing. Our cooperation with the EBRD is helping us to even further extend our support for agribusiness in Serbia,” said Slavko Caric, CEO of Erste Bank Serbia.

Agriculture is one of the key sectors of the Serbian economy, accounting for up to 15.5 per cent of the country’s GDP. Serbia is also the largest grain producer in the region. The EBRD has directly committed more than €365 million in over 29 projects in the agribusiness sector in Serbia since 2003.