March 24 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Friday it intends to lend 10 million euro ($10.75 million) to Bulgaria's Elana Agrocredit [BUL:EAC] to allow the agricultural lease financing provider to increase lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the farming sector affected directly or indirectly by the war in Ukraine.
The planned senior secured loan would be disbursed under the lender's Resilience and Livelihoods Framework, EBRD said in a statement. The transaction is pending final review.
The financing will enable Elana Agrocredit to expand its lending capacity while remaining financially robust and operational and to provide loans to farmers whose livelihoods have been significantly affected by the war, according to the project notice.
"The proposed project provides access to financing in a period when the company is facing shortages of funding sources and significant demand from its clients for provision of farm land leasing," the European lender added.
Founded in 2012, Elana Agrocredit has been a listed company since October 2013. Its investors include major Bulgarian pension funds and other institutional investors which own 35.5% of the stock, with the combined majority stake of 64.5% held by about 200 retail investors and 0.5% owned by financial group Elana Holding. As at end-2022, Elana had total assets of 31.8 million euro, with its 30.7 million portfolio distributed between leases and working capital loans.
In February, Elana Agrocredit signed deals to finance purchases of agricultural land worth 578,680 levs ($318,200/295,900 euro) against some 1.73 million levs in the same month of 2021, according to most recent company data.
Shares in Elana Agrocredit last closed flat at 1.03 levs on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange on Thursday.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)