Establishment of a "greenfield" microfinance bank to provide financial services to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Bulgaria. The EBRD participated in the pro-rata capital increase of ProCredit Bank A.D. in the amount of €1.2 million in 2003.
In 2004 EBRD plans to participate in further capital increase of ProCredit Bank (Bulgaria) A.D. in the amount of €1.022 million and provide a senior loan of up to €10 million which will be cofinanced by the US sponsored EBRD SME Financing Facility.
The project is expected to have a significant impact on the transition process. ProCredit Bank will continue to provide continuous support to MSEs that would otherwise have little or no access to formal sector finance. ProCredit Bank 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.
ProCredit Bank Bulgaria (formerly known as Microfinance Bank of Bulgaria), established in 2001, provides financial services to MSEs. The founding shareholders are: the EBRD (19.71 per cent), Commerzbank AG (19.71 per cent), ProCredit Holding (at the time International Micro Investitionen AG (59.13 per cent) and Internationale Projekt Consult GmbH (IPC – 1.45 per cent). Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) has worked closely with the participating institutions in developing the project, and has provided a credit line for on-lending to MSEs. ProCredit Bank began operating in Sofia and has since expanded to 58 branches, located in 32 cities. Further regional expansion is planned for 2007-2011. Since the start of operations, the bank has already provided 103,502 loans to Bulgarian MSEs, in a total volume of €788.5 million.
Following the initial €1.23 million equity investment to purchase one-fifth of the share capital, a first pro-rata capital increase was completed in 2003, to the amount of €1.23 million, followed by a second capital increase of €1.02 million in 2004. In 2007, EBRD plans to participate in a third capital increase of € 1.007 millionM. Following the new subscription, EBRD will continue to own 19.71% of capital.
EBRD has previously provided a senior loan of initially €5 million, under the US sponsored EBRD SME Financing Facility for on-lending to MSEs. It has further provided €2 million provided by the US, under the EBRD SME Financing Facility. €10 million was made available in 2004, in the form of A/B loan structure. The latest credit line in the amount of €10 million was provided in 2006 from the EBRD’s Residential Energy Efficiency Framework to fund energy efficiency improvement projects.
Total initial and first capital increase project costs amounted to €34.2 million, of which the EBRD share is €13.43 million. Following the second capital increase, the total project costs will increase by € 15.4 million, of which EBRD share is €11.02 million.
ProCredit Bank will continue to carry out its operations 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 /local health, safety, environmental and public consultation requirements.
Technical cooperation funding was provided by the EBRD under the EBRD SME Financing Facility. The German consultant company Internationale Project Consult GmbH (IPC) was selected as technical partner to provide management services to the new bank. Further technical assistance was provided by the US via the EBRD SME Financing Facility (USD 1 million) to support the regional expansion of ProCredit Bank.
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