EBRD joins forces with Lovćen Bank to support SMEs in Montenegro

By Cecilia Calatrava

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  • EBRD lends €4 million to Lovćen Bank AD Podgorica
  • Funding will help strengthen competitiveness of Montenegrin SMEs
  • Goal is to allocate 10 per cent of credit line to investments in green technologies

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched a new €4 million credit line to Lovćen banka AD Podgorica (Lovćen Bank) to support the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Montenegro.

In the form of working capital lines and investment loans, the funding will boost lending to private businesses and provide short-term liquidity.

The credit line will support the post-pandemic recovery of Montenegro’s economy and strengthen its resilience in the medium and long term. It will also play an important role in the implementation of the country’s green agenda, as the EBRD and Lovćen Bank expect that 10 per cent of the allocated funds will be used to finance green investments by SMEs.

“We are glad to begin our partnership with Lovćen Bank and to jointly support Montenegrin businesses. Together, we will be able to assist the recovery and provide financing to the SME sector, as it is the backbone of the Montenegrin economy,” said Remon Zakaria, Head of the EBRD Office in Montenegro.

Vinko Nikić, Chairman of the Lovćen Bank Management Board, added: “I am very pleased to start this long-term strategic partnership between our two institutions, which is useful for our current and future clients and the Montenegrin economy as a whole. “With this credit line, we will further help the development of the SME segment in Montenegro and give these businesses even better momentum towards an accelerated recovery, as well as further growth and development, which will be necessary after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am convinced that Lovćen Bank and the EBRD will continue to create new credit lines through their joint partnership, thus providing our clients with easier access to financing.”

Lovćen Bank was founded in 2014. Today, it operates a network of 15 branches (three in the capital Podgorica and the rest throughout Montenegro), with 146 employees, managing a loan portfolio of more than €185 million and assets of almost €300 million.

The EBRD is committed to promoting private-sector development in Montenegro. Since starting its operations in Montenegro, the EBRD has invested more than €700 million in 74 projects in various sectors of the country's economy, including significant support for SMEs through partner financial institutions in Montenegro.

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