A proposed equity investment in the Micro Enterprise Bank of Kosovo (MEBK) to fund further expansion of lending activities to Kosovar micro and small enterprises (MSEs).
By providing reliable access to financial services for MSEs throughout Kosovo, the project will direct support to private sector development. It will also have a strong demonstration effect, encouraging other Kosovar banks to enter this market segment.
The growth of the MSE sector in Kosovo will contribute to the revival of a devastated economy after years of regional conflict. MEBK will provide continuous support to MSEs that otherwise have little or no access to formal sector finance. MEBK will also support the development of the financial sector by operating as a best practice institution committed to the principles of complete transparency and strong corporate governance. Support for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises is at the heart of the EBRD's mandate for strengthening private sector development.
MEBK was established in January 2000. The founding shareholders were: Commerzbank (21.7 per cent), FEFAD (KfW) (21.7 per cent), FMO (21.7 per cent), MEB Bosnia (17.4 per cent) and International Micro Investitionen (17.4 per cent). The group of international financial institution (IFI) shareholders has successfully cooperated with the EBRD on similar projects in the past, including micro-finance banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Georgia and Yugoslavia. MEBK operates via its head office in Pristina and four additional branches in different locations in Kosovo.
An equity investment of €1.25 million, acquiring a 16.7 per cent shareholding in MEBK
The total project cost would be €5.2 million, of which the EBRD would finance €1.25 million.
MEBK will operate in accordance with the EBRD's Environmental Procedures for Small and Micro Loans. In implementing these procedures, it will require its borrowers to comply, at a minimum, with national and local health, safety, environmental, and public consultation requirements.
Technical cooperation funding has been provided by several donors:
439,000 has been provided in full from German Trust Funds, administered by the EBRD.
USD 1.5 million has been provided by the US government via the US/EBRD SME Financing Facility
250,000 has been provided by the Luxembourg government.
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Text of the PIP