EBRD channels €30 million to Serbian SMEs via Komercijalna Banka

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo


Finance will be channelled to private companies, including in rural areas

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting support to private entrepreneurs in Serbia by increasing access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Bank will extend a three-year loan of €30 million to Komercijalna Banka, the second-largest bank in Serbia by assets, who will then on-lend to its SME clients across the country, with a focus on rural areas and regions outside the capital.

The transaction will help to diversify Komercijalna Banka’s funding base, enable continued liquidity in the SME loan market and promote private sector investment and economic recovery.

The loan agreement was signed in Belgrade by the EBRD’s First Vice President, Phil Bennett, and the CEO of Komercijalna Banka, Alexander Picker.

Phil Bennett said: “SMEs are one of the key drivers of the economy in Serbia, and the EBRD’s cooperation with Komercjalna Banka, a market leader in SME financing, will promote a healthy SME sector in the country.”

Alexander Picker said: “We have long considered SMEs to be one of the most dynamic segments in Serbia. In the upcoming period SMEs will take even greater priority and a share in Komercijalna Banka’s total portfolio. The loan agreement we have signed today will act as a double incentive. Firstly, we will have an even stronger source of funding under more favourable terms, and secondly, we will strengthen our cooperation with a world-renowned partner that is also our second largest shareholder. The EBRD’s decision to support SMEs proves that our business orientation and plans are correct. What is even more important is that the end-users of these loans will benefit most.”

To date, the EBRD has invested €4.2 billion in various sectors of the Serbian economy.