EIB Lends 100 Million Euros to Serbia for Smaller Companies

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The European Investment Bank will loan Serbia 100 million euros ($130 million) to help local banks finance small and medium-sized businesses and local infrastructure projects.

The European Union’s lending arm will extend the funds via Belgrade-based Raiffeisen Banka AD and Novi Sad-based Erste Banka AD to “improve the access of Serbian SMEs and mid-cap companies to long-term financing provided on favorable terms,” a bank statement cited Dario Scannapieco, the vice-president responsible for the western Balkans, as saying.

At least 70 percent of the loan amount will be allocated to small and medium-sized companies as access to cheaper and long-term financing are “key drivers for economic and social progress in Serbia,” according to the statement.

The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank agreed Nov. 8 on an action plan for eastern Europe, which includes loans and investment in private and public-sector projects including infrastructure, corporations and the financial industry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net