EBRD and UniCredit provide long-term financing for new homes and SMEs in Serbia

By Viktorija Melohina


€40 million to boost residential mortgage lending and SME financing in the country 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting the development of Serbia’s residential mortgage sector and extending further support to local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with two loans totalling €40 million to UniCredit Bank Serbia, the third-largest commercial bank in the country.

The financing is being provided in two parts: up to €20 million for on-lending to SMEs for facilitating access to longer term finance. In parallel, a mortgage loan of up to €20 million aims to boost private residential mortgage lending. The EBRD funds are offered at a time when the availability of credit, particularly on longer terms, remains constrained.

EBRD’s mortgage loan will help UniCredit to grow its portfolio of mortgages to eligible homeowners using international best practice standards. In addition, the credit line is supporting the measures of the National Bank of Serbia aimed at helping citizens with Swiss Franc denominated mortgages.

UniCredit Bank is the third-largest commercial bank in Serbia. Its commitment to the residential housing sector has been demonstrated through the successful completion of three mortgage loans and three SME-credit lines with the EBRD, with the most recent signed in June 2014.

"We welcome the opportunity to continue our strong support for Serbia’s housing and SME sectors. Both are in need of more financing. Our partners, UniCredit Group and UniCredit Bank Serbia, represent vital sources of funds for the real economy in the country and we are thus pleased to offer our financial backing," EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said at the signing.

“We are pleased to be in the position to provide extended financing for residential market and private SME sector in Serbia, thanks to our long-term partnership with EBRD. On the one hand, this agreement will enable us to help citizens to buy their own living space on favourable conditions. On the other hand, we will provide additional support to SME clients, the drivers of local economy in terms of employment and innovation. We are pleased to work with the EBRD in supporting the real economy in Serbia”, added Claudio Cesario, CEO of UniCredit Bank Serbia.

Since the start of its operations in Serbia, the EBRD has invested more than €3.9 billion in over 188 projects across the country. The Bank invests in the financial sector, industry, commerce, agribusiness, energy and infrastructure.

UniCredit Bank Serbia is member of UniCredit, one of Europe’s leading financial groups with strong presence in 17 countries. Through a network of approximately 8,600 branches and more than 145,000 employees the Group is present in about 50 markets (data as of December 2014). In central and eastern Europe, UniCredit operates the largest international banking network with nearly 3,500 branches. The Group is present in Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. More information can be found at: www.unicreditbank.rs.