EBRD supports Bosnian private businesses

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD supports Bosnian private businesses

€4 million loan to Mikrofin for on-lending to local micro-sized and small enterprises

The EBRD is providing Mikrofin, the largest non-bank microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a €4 million loan for on-lending to local private businesses.

Mikrofin currently has a network of 75 branches throughout the country and working with the lender will allow the EBRD to widen and deepen its outreach to extend finance where it is often needed most.

The micro-sized and small enterprise segment is a vibrant part of the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the country’s engine of growth and job creation.

The loan is complemented by technical cooperation support financed by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund to support Mikrofin with the development of the methodology and implementation of the new IFRS 9 standard, in order for the microfinance institution to comply fully with the IFRS.

The adoption of the new IFRS standard will ensure that Mikrofin maintains access to funding from external lenders and send a strong signal to the whole financial sector.

Ian Brown, EBRD Associate Director, Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “Building on the strong relationship we have established with Mikrofin over the past 10 years, we are pleased to extend these new funds to the microfinance institution. Our goal is to strengthen the real economy in the country by facilitating access to finance for those vibrant enterprises which will drive future growth and prosperity.”

Mladen Bosnić, Director of Mikrofin, said: “Our cooperation with the EBRD has been a long and successful one. We are looking forward to continuing our work towards the same goal, which is to provide support to entrepreneurs, whom we consider to be the the most determined, inventive and productive segment of the economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are also very grateful to the EBRD for recognising the technical as well as the strategic needs we have for funding, in terms of supporting us in implementation of the new IFRS 9 standard.“

Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than €2 billion in over 140 projects in the country. The Bank focuses on supporting restructuring and expansion of the local private sector, forging closer links with wider regional markets and promoting a more efficient and sustainable use of resources.