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Dec 08, 2017 12:50 EEST
PRISTINA (Kosovo), December 8 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is extending a 5 million euro ($5.9 million) loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Kosovo (RLKO) to support local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) via an alternative credit channel.
The funding represents EBRD’s first engagement in the leasing sector in Kosovo and marks the start of the bank's cooperation with RLKO, the EBRD said in a statement on Thursday.
“The leasing sector in Kosovo is in early stages of development and at the moment RLKO is the only financial institution to offer this instrument in the country. For local small businesses this means that there is room to explore an important source of funding,” the bank explained.
Improving access to finance for Kosovo MSMEs through alternative lending channels is among the EBRD’s priorities for the country, the bank said, adding that small businesses form the backbone of the economy of Kosovo.
“Access to finance often remains a challenge in many cases owing to the lack of collateral. Leasing represents a viable and attractive alternative, but the market penetration remains at very low levels.”
RLKO is fully owned by Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo, a subsidiary of Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International. RLKO provides lease financing to MSMEs and private individuals.
The EBRD has invested more than 225 million euro in 51 projects in Kosovo thus far.
($ = 0.84814)
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