20 January 2014
Serbia: EUR 150 million for SMEs
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia have signed in Belgrade a EUR 150 million loan aiming at financing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other infrastructure projects. This is the first part of a total EUR 500 million credit lines (“Apex loan”) aimed at sustaining the Country’s economic recovery and helping the path of Serbia towards integration with the European Union.
The operation is intended to support SMEs, Mid-caps and small and medium scale infrastructure projects as well as investments of local authorities, in particular in the fields of environmental protection and improvement, rational use of energy, infrastructure, including health and education, industry, tourism, trade and services. The loan will be channeled through local financial institutions, with the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) acting as the Agent to the loan facility. This is the fifth Apex operation in Serbia since 2000. The last one totaling EUR 250 million was successfully allocated between 2011 and 2013 in support of SMEs and Mid-caps.
The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. The EIB has been active in the Western Balkans since 1977. Over the past ten years, it has provided finance totaling over 7 billion EUR. Since 2001, the EIB has extended about EUR 4 billion in favor of projects in Serbia, of which EUR 1.20 billion were in support to the SMEs sector.