EBRD and Intesa Sanpaolo Albania boost long-term financing in Albania

By Viktorija Melohina

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EBRD and Intesa Sanpaolo Albania boost  long-term financing in Albania

Risk-sharing facility opens up new lending channels to growing companies

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania are joining forces to boost medium- and long-term financing for fast-growing companies in Albania, by participating in a risk-sharing agreement of up to €10 million.

The first to benefit from this freshly sealed partnership is GSA Ltd Albania, an Albanian company specialising in the energy sector. Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania is extending a loan of up to €12 million to GSA. The EBRD is providing a guarantee for half of this loan amount through unfunded risk-sharing. The proceeds of the loan will be used for the construction and development of a green-field ferrochrome smelting facility in Elbasan, one of the largest cities in Albania, which will create approximately 170 new jobs.   

Intesa Sanpaolo Albania is the first bank to participate in unfunded risk-sharing with the EBRD in the Western Balkans. Under a risk-sharing facility, the EBRD is providing a partial guarantee for the medium- and long-term loans to local, fast-growing, small and medium-sized enterprises.

With this project Intesa Sanpaolo Albania aims to expand its loan portfolio, enter new, fast-growing economic segments and support companies operating in complex and highly specialised sectors.

Christoph Denk, Head of EBRD Tirana Office stated: “We are pleased to partner with Intesa Sanpaolo to expand financing opportunities for growing companies in Albania such as GSA. Unfunded risk-sharing is particularly well-suited for the highly liquid Albanian banking sector because it provides a smart tool to manage both capital and risk concentration. Ultimately, it facilitates credit growth for the benefit of the real economy.”

Silvio Pedrazzi, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania stated: “Operating in the real economy, the main goal is to support the local and foreign investors in further developing all the aspects of the micro and macro economy areas of the country. By investing in innovation and technology, as well as in the traditional and sustainable sectors such as agriculture and renewable energy, we recognise the great positive impact that this agreement will have towards the achievement of these common goals.”

Agron Shapllo CEO of GSA: “The EBRD and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania have followed and helped shape the project throughout all the steps of the development phase. Through their expertise we have teamed up with industry experts and other professionals that have helped the project take its best shape. We would like to thank all for their commitment and hard work throughout the process.” 

The EBRD’s risk-sharing is designed to meet the financing needs of successful medium-sized private companies that began to outgrow the countries’ financial sector. The EBRD co-financing takes the form of funded or unfunded risk participation by the EBRD in a portion of the local banks' sub-loans.

Eligible clients, who can benefit from these medium- and long-term financing possibilities, are the privately owned companies, existing businesses with a proven track record and sound credit history, as well as start-up companies, backed by reputable investors.

Since the start of its operations in Albania, the EBRD has invested almost €1 billion in some 70 projects in various sectors of the economy.

*Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania ranks third in terms of assets in the Albanian banking system, being present with 32 branches in 12 cities and serving approximately 165,000 customers.

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