The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Unicredit Bank of Serbia (UCBS) signed a loan agreement worth up to 50m euros today to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap companies for a more efficient recovery than kovida-19, the bank said. .
The loan will reportedly help companies overcome the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, maintain liquidity and jobs.
This is the EIB’s fourth credit line to support Serbian companies under the Western Balkans Recovery Team’s financial package.
Including new loans signed today, the EIB’s financial support for the recovery of Serbian SMEs since the start of the pandemic has reached 140m euros.
“UCBS will make these funds available to Serbian SMEs and mid-cap companies affected by the kovida-19 crisis under more favorable and affordable conditions. Companies will be able to use EIB funds to finance liquidity, working capital and medium- and long-term investments,” it said. in a statement.
The vice president of the EIB, responsible for Serbia, Ljiljana Pavlova, said that the bank continues to support the growth and development of Serbia by signing this important investment.
“We are committed to creating the preconditions for a faster recovery from kovida-19 and the transition to a more resilient, greener, more sustainable economy of Serbia, able to compete successfully in global markets. We are glad to have partners like Unicredit Bank who are able to direct our financial support directly. to companies in Serbia, which contributes to the preservation of jobs and income for thousands of people, “Pavlova said.
The director for Eastern Europe of Uncredit Bank, Teodora Petkova, said that with this initiative, they continue to support the development of local businesses and economies in order to accelerate the recovery from kovida-19.
“This is another concrete step towards ensuring a constant inflow of capital, especially for SMEs, which are one of the main pillars of the economies of the Western Balkans, which will enable them to finance working capital and investment programs,” Petkova said.
The President of the Executive Board of UCBS, Feza Tan, said that more than 95 million euros of EIB financial resources have been placed through that bank and Unicredit Leasing so far.
“We are looking forward to placing these funds for local businesses. As we are one of the leading banks in the market, we have the responsibility and strength to continue to actively support the country’s recovery and development,” Tan said.
The Charge d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, Mateja Norčič Štamcar, assessed that SMEs are the backbone of the economy and that is why they finance this area both through grants and credit guarantee loans.
“All EU efforts to support SMEs dealing with innovation and technology, as well as other sectors, will ultimately contribute to the modernization of Serbia and economic growth, especially when it comes to businesses affected by the kovida-19 crisis,” said Norcic Stamcar.
The EIB reportedly has a well-established relationship with Unicredit Bank, with which it has to date implemented several credit lines totaling over 150m euros to finance SMEs and mid-cap companies in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The last cooperation signed in 2020 is a loan to encourage socially responsible practices, which was established for the first time for Serbia. This innovative type of financing is designed for companies that want to have a positive impact on their community through the employment and professional development of people from vulnerable social groups.