EBRD, EU and Intesa Leasing extend new funding to businesses in Serbia

By Bojana Vlajcic

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  • New EBRD €5 million credit line to Intesa Leasing
  • SMEs to be able to access new finance to help increase their competitiveness
  • EU grants to make company investments more affordable

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Serbia are to benefit from new funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU), made available through Intesa Leasing.

A new €5 million credit line will be on-lent by Intesa Leasing to Serbian firms in the form of leases for equipment, vehicles and so on, enabling them to invest in their working standards and processes and become more competitive on local and EU markets. The aim is to encourage SMEs to invest in upgrades in three key areas: environmental protection, health and safety, and product quality.

Once projects are successfully completed, SMEs will be able to access grants worth up to 15 per cent of the total lease amount. 

A particular focus will be on investments in greener technologies, to help SMEs adapt to EU environmental standards and improve their energy efficiency. At least 60 per cent of all leases will support energy-saving measures.

The new facility is part of the Western Balkans SME Competitiveness Support Programme, to which the EBRD provides loans and the European Union (EU) contributes incentive payments and technical assistance. The goal is to help SMEs modernise their activities and take advantage of trade opportunities in the Western Balkans region and wider European market.

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Director for the Western Balkans, said: “The competitiveness of SMEs and their green transition, in particular, are key to Serbia’s sustainable economic development and resilience in changing global markets. We are very pleased to support the country’s SMEs with this new facility, which also marks another important step in our excellent cooperation with the Intesa Group in Serbia and the broader Western Balkans region.”

Darko Popović, President of the Board of Directors of Intesa Leasing and CEO of Banca Intesa, said: “We are very glad to continue our successful cooperation with the EBRD, particularly in these post-Covid-19 circumstances, which have been especially challenging for SMEs. With the new credit line, we will offer favourable leasing conditions to our SME clients, aimed at improving their working standards to boost the competitiveness of this segment in the local and EU markets, while fostering their engagement in environmental protection, health and safety, and product quality areas.”

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Intesa Leasing Belgrade is a member of the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group and one of the major leasing companies in Serbia, with significant business activities in the vehicles, equipment and real-estate sectors. By combining global experience with local skills, it seeks solutions that meet client needs and support a better quality of life, prosperity, and economic and societal development more broadly.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €7.2 billion in the country to date. The EBRD is focusing on support for private sector development, the improvement of public utility services and on the overall transition towards a green economy.

 

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