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SEE-active ProCredit Holding to use capital hike proceeds to finance growth

SEE-active ProCredit Holding to use capital hike proceeds to finance growth Borislav Kostadinov, Member of the Management Board of ProCredit General Partner AG

SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 13 (SeeNews) - Frankfurt-listed ProCredit Holding, the parent company of ProCredit banking group, which is active in Southeast Europe, plans to use the proceeds from its recent capital increase to finance the group's growth, a senior company official has told SeeNews.

"We value the trust endowed by our investors in this way and consider the capital increase as a confirmation to continue our profitable yet responsible way of providing sound and transparent financial services to promising SMEs in South Eastern and Eastern Europe," Borislav Kostadinov, member of the management board of ProCredit General Partner, the managing entity of ProCredit Holding, told SeeNews in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

ProCredit Holding raised 61 million euro ($75.3 million) earlier this month by placing 5.35 million new shares at a price of 11.4 euro apiece, as part of a capital increase carried out on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) subscribed for 40% of the new shares representing 3.6% of ProCredit Holding’s entire share capital after the increase.

"We believe that beyond being an important milestone for us as a company, it also sends an important signal about the economic growth prospects of the entrepreneurs in our countries, and confirms the confidence and trust in our responsible approach to SME banking, which is also appreciated by the capital market," Kostadinov added.

In Southeast Europe (SEE), ProCredit has banks in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Moldova and Serbia. ProCredit Bank Bulgaria has a branch in Thessaloniki, Greece.

As at end-September 2017, around 70% of ProCredit's loan portfolio originated from its SEE operations.

"We made the capital increase with a clear aim in mind: to be able to continue the course we have chosen to take and to foster growth in our countries of operation. And by growth I do not mean just any growth, but economic growth underpinned by environmental and social considerations," Kostadinov explained.

The ProCredit Group consists of commercial banks with a strong regional emphasis on SEE focused on financing projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

($ = 0.8101 euro)

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