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EBRD lending 25 mln euro to Erste Bank Serbia to support SMEs

Author Radomir Ralev
EBRD lending 25 mln euro to Erste Bank Serbia to support SMEs Photo: EBRD

BELGRADE (Serbia), December 1 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it is extending a 25 million euro ($28.3 million) loan to Erste Bank Serbia to support the resilience of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The loan will provide short-term liquidity to Erste Bank's clients in Serbia and help alleviate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, aiding the swift recovery of the country’s economy, the EBRD said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We are very pleased to step up our cooperation with our long-standing partner, Erste Bank Serbia. The facility will enable Erste Bank to properly support its clients by addressing their short-term liquidity needs, with a strong focus on SMEs, which have been particularly hard hit during the crisis," the EBRD Director for financial institutions in Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, Aleksandra Vukosavljevic, said.

The proposed loan complements the crisis response measures introduced by the Serbian government, in particular, the state guarantee scheme, and is an important resource in the context of the country’s expected economic recovery in the medium term, Vukosavljevic noted.

'I am pleased that thank to our partnership with EBRD we will be able to offer financing under favorable conditions to SMEs and in that way contribute our clients to overcome challenges and continue to develop their business. It is needless to point out that SME segment is one of the key drivers of Serbian economy," the president of the executive board of Erste Bank Serbia, Slavko Caric, said.

The EBRD has invested more than 6.8 billion euro in 293 projects in Serbia to date. The bank’s focus in Serbia is on private-sector development, improving public utilities and facilitating the country's transition to a green economy.

($ = 0.88284 euro)