€10 million loan for Albania’s Credins Bank

By Axel  Reiserer

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The EBRD is providing Albania’s Credins Bank Sh.A. with €10 million in loans for on-lending to local small and medium-sized enterprises and supporting trade finance solutions for clients of the bank.

The SME credit line will be worth a total of €8 million and will assist Credins Bank grow its SME portfolio as part of the bank’s efforts to diversify its loan book. At the same time the loan will benefit local SMEs for which access to finance remains scarce.. Although the SME sector in Albania isis estimated to account for 99% of total business registrations, the SME share of the total credit to the economy is only estimated at 25% (including microcredit).

The remaining €2 million will be provided under a separate credit line designated to finance trade activities of Credins Bank clients. In order to promote capacity building the programme will also include staff training in documentary business provided by Technical Cooperation Funds.

Credins Bank is the third largest bank by loan portfolio and fourth largest in terms of assets and deposits in Albania. Established in 2003 as the first local private bank it has grown rapidly and has developed a strong brand based on close customer orientation and innovative products.

FabioFabio Serri, Head of the Tirana Office of the EBRD said: “These two loans are an important commitment by us to Credins Bank, but also to the wider Albanian economy. Despite remarkable resilience the Albanian economy too is feeling the impacts of subdued growth in the region and beyond. Therefore it is all the more important to strengthen SMEs as the backbone of Albania’s economy.”

Artan Santo, CEO of Credins Bank added: I would like to assure EBRD that we will commit all our efforts and will do our best for the implementation of the Agreement above reproach. At the same time, we would like EBRD to consider Credins Bank as a long term partner, as a responsible, trustworthy institution, very committed to fulfilling all the rights and obligations resulting from the Agreement and even beyond”.

The loans come under the EBRD Western Balkans & Croatia Financing Framework, a €98.5 million facility for strengthening the financial sector and improving further financial intermediation by expanding the range of products available to local financial institutions, including the term loans for on-lending to corporate and MSMEs, residential mortgage loans, consumer finance, syndicated loans, lease finance, guarantees, subordinated debt, convertible debt, and equity and quasi-equity product.

Since the beginning of its operations in Albania the EBRD has invested over €700 million in various sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investments of over €1.65 billion.

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