EBRD boosts micro-finance lending in BiH

By Viktorija Melohina

EBRD boosts micro-finance lending in BiH

€6 million to support energy efficiency and agriculture
 
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the expansion of non-banking financial services in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a €6 million loan to Partner Microcredit Foundation for on-lending to micro and small enterprises (MSMEs).
 
The funding will help the company to develop energy efficiency loans for housing and agricultural products following the destructive impact of the floods in May 2014.
 
With this project, the EBRD is strengthening Partner Microcredit Foundation as one of the leading non-bank microfinance institutions in the country and is helping the company to further expand its lending to MSMEs.
 
Medium to long-term refinancing for micro-financial institutions is limited and has become less available in the last few years in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Despite the relatively low share of the banking sector assets, the micro finance sector is an important source of funding for more than 200,000 clients which are not served by local banks.
 
The financing of this project comes under the EBRD Small Business Initiative, a platform for supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through the Bank’s partner financial institutions
 
“We are pleased to secure this financing with the EBRD. It will help Partner Microcredit Foundation to strengthen our position and increase our competitiveness in the microfinance market”, said Senad Sinanovic, Director of Partner Microcredit Foundation.
 
“We continue to support Partner Microcredit Foundation and increase the availability of financing to private businesses as access to long-term funds remains very limited in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is important to support small businesses to strengthen the backbone of the country’s economic development”, said Henry Russell, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions in the Western Balkans, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
 
“We are very pleased to provide further support to the micro finance sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to our trusted client Partner Microcredit Foundation. With this transaction the EBRD is reinforcing its commitment to private businesses in Bosnia, helping to create jobs and support small businesses to grow,” said the EBRD’s Head of Sarajevo Office, Ian Brown.
 
Since the start of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than €1.6 billion in more than 110 projects in the country. The Bank invests in infrastructure development, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and the strengthening of the financial sector.