The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a new loan of up to €25 million 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. The financing should aid the swift recovery of the country’s economy and strengthen its resilience in the medium and long term.
Aleksandra Vukosavljević, EBRD Director, Financial Institutions, Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, said: “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 proposed loan complements the crisis response measures introduced by the Serbian government, in particular, the state guarantee scheme, and is as an important resource in the context of the country’s expected economic recovery in the medium term.”
Slavko Carić, Chairman of Executive Board of Erste Bank, stated: “I am pleased that thanks to our partnership with EBRD we will be able to offer financing under favourable 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 the Serbian economy.”
Erste Bank Serbia is a fully owned subsidiary of Erste Bank Group. A longstanding EBRD partner, the bank views the SME sector as a strategic target for creating sustainable growth.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €6.8 billion in 293 projects in the country 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.