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BELGRADE (Serbia), October 12 (SeeNews) – The Green for Growth Fund (GGF) said on Thursday it has extended a 5 million euro ($5.9 million) long-term loan to Serbia's Halkbank a.d. Beograd to support energy-efficient housing in the country.
A portion of the funds will help residents finance mortgages for homes with reduced energy requirements, GGF said in a statement.
In addition to the loan, GGF technical assistance support will include training on energy savings monitoring and activities that increase public awareness of energy-efficient housing and its benefits, the fund said.
"We are excited to continue our work with Halkbank, and we especially welcome the opportunity to support prospective homeowners in Serbia seeking to purchase energy-efficient housing, which will contribute to energy savings and ultimately benefit climate change mitigation," the chairman of GGF, Christopher Knowles, said.
The loan is GGF first to Halkbank a.d. Beograd, which was formerly known as Cacanska banka until Halkbank Turkey acquired it in 2015. Cacanska banka was one of the first banks in the country to offer dedicated energy efficiency financing and became a GGF partner in 2011. Halkbank’s Serbian operations provide universal banking services through a network of 35 organisational units.
With the cooperation with the GGF credit facility, Halkbank a.d. Beograd wants to support private individuals and SMEs seeking to invest in energy efficiency projects and consequently improve their lives and business environment, CEO Kenan Bozkurt said. "We are especially proud to offer a new housing loan product for buying flats in buildings that have been constructed according to the latest energy efficiency standards."
The GGF was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by German development bank KfW and the European Investment Bank. It invests in measures designed to cut energy use and CO2 emissions by a minimum of 20% in the 19 countries, which it covers, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.