The EBRD and the United States of America (US) will establish an SME Finance Facility to provide funding and technical assistance to banks, for on-lending to SMEs in south eastern Europe.
The main project objective is to provide financing to SMEs through financial institutions in the countries of south-eastern Europe. The facility will provide training for FIs as well as fund the EBRD’s efforts to remove legal/regulatory impediments to SME finance.
The facility is expected to have a strong transition impact by focusing on countries where there are significant impediments to the development of SMEs, including poor access to finance. The TC component will focus on alleviating the impediments, including poor provision of finance by local intermediaries, while the investment component will provide necessary term funding.
Clients will be financial intermediaries (FIs) in the countries of south-eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYR Macedonia and Romania). A cooperation fund will assist FIs in Kosovo. FIs will be selected on the basis of their commitment to lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and on their financial soundness. The facility may later assist FIs in other countries.
The EBRD will provide bank-to-bank loans totaling US$ 100 million. The US will provide US$ 50 million to establish the EBRD SME Special Fund, which will provide technical cooperation as well as loans to the participating banks. Approx. US$ 25 million will be available under the facility for the 12-month period starting 1 July 2000.
US$ 150 million (€168 million).
Financial institutions included in the facility will be required to apply the EBRD’s Environmental Procedures for Financial Intermediaries to all loans and investments supported through the facility. In implementing these procedures, the financial intermediaries will assess potential environmental issues associated with client SMEs, which are required to comply, at a minimum, with local/national health, safety, environmental and public consultation requirements.
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