Unicredit Bank in Serbia and the EIB have earmarked 50 million euros in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, News
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Unicredit Bank of Serbia (UCBS) today signed a loan agreement worth up to 50 million euros to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap companies for a more efficient recovery from Covid 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 140 million euros.
“UCBS will make these funds available to Serbian SMEs and mid-cap companies affected by the Covid-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 is 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 Covid-19 and the transition to a more resilient, greener, 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 towards companies in Serbia, which contributes to the preservation of jobs and income for thousands of people,” Pavlova said.
Uncredit Bank’s Director for Eastern Europe, 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 Covid-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 Norcic Stamcar, 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 Covid-19 crisis,” said Norcic Stamcar.
he EIB reportedly has a well-established relationship with Unicredit Bank, with which it has to date implemented several credit lines totaling over 150 million 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, Beta reports.