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Boosting microfinance availability in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD is continuing to increase the availability of financing to the real economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina with an €8 million loan to Partner Microcredit Foundation for on-lending to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

Established in 1997 with the support of the US-based Mercy Corps, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), Partner Microcredit Foundation began its micro lending activities as a local development NGO and transformed into a microfinance foundation in 2008. Partner Microcredit Foundation is currently considering establishing a commercial company with the ultimate goal of becoming a microfinance bank.

The EBRD financing will enable Partner Microcredit Foundation to expand its operations and will contribute to increasing the availability of funding for MSME borrowers, with sub-loans of up to 10,000 Bosnian Markas (BAM), equivalent to approximately €5,000.

The proceeds of the EBRD loan will be used to increase on-lending for investments in the agricultural sector. The loan is extended under the Bank’s Western Balkans and Croatia Financing Framework.*

“We are pleased to continue our successful cooperation with Partner Microcredit Foundation and support its strategy to become a fully fledged microfinance bank. The EBRD loan will contribute to facilitating the access to longer-term finance for micro and small companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the benefit of the real economy,” said Libor Krkoska, Head of the EBRD’s Regional Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In the year when Partner is celebrating 15 years of successful operation the signing of this agreement is of special importance for us. To date we have supported more than 300,000 clients with the total amount of disbursed funds of around one billion BAM. With this new credit line Partner will serve clients operating in rural areas and those who lack access to commercial banks. This will contribute to the development of entrepreneurship and creation of new employment opportunities.” said Mr. Senad Sinanovic, Director of Partner MCF.

Previously the EBRD provided Partner Microcredit Foundation with two similar loans for a total amount of €18 million and €500,000 in technical assistance to support the company’s commercialisation.

Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has committed more than €1.4 billion in over 100 projects in key sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investments of more than €1.6 billion.

*Western Balkans and Croatia Financing Framework is a €250 million framework aimed at supporting banks and non-bank financial institutions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia.

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