Serbian SMEs to receive €30 million from EBRD via Komercijalna Banka

BusinessSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 2/2016

Serbian SMEs to receive €30 million from EBRD via Komercijalna Banka

Support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to private entrepreneurs in Serbia is to be increased with more access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Komercijalna Banka, the second-largest bank in Serbia by assets, will get EUR 30 million from the EBRD as an extension of a three-year loan.

The Serbian bank will then on-lend the funds to its SME clients, with a focus on rural areas and regions outside the capital. In this way, Komercijalna Banka will diversify its funding base and promote private sector investment and economic recovery. The transaction will also enable continued liquidity in the SME loan market. The EBRD has invested EUR 4,2 billion in various sectors of the Serbian economy to date.

"SMEs are one of the key drivers of the economy in Serbia, and the EBRD’s cooperation with Komercjalna Banka, a market leader in SME financing, will promote a healthy SME sector in the country," explained Phil Bennett, First Vice President of the EBRD.

"We have long considered SMEs to be one of the most dynamic segments in Serbia. In the upcoming period SMEs will take even greater priority and a share in Komercijalna Banka’s total portfolio. The loan agreement we have signed will act as a double incentive. Firstly, we will have an even stronger source of funding under more favourable terms, and secondly, we will strengthen our cooperation with a world-renowned partner that is also our second largest shareholder.

The EBRD’s decision to support SMEs proves that our business orientation and plans are correct. What is even more important is that the end-users of these loans will benefit most," added Alexander Picker, CEO of Komercijalna Banka.