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Serbia’s Bank Lending Hits $1.3 Billion, Finance Ministry Says

Serbian banks granted 995.5 million euros ($1.3 billion) in loans to companies between September and end-November, the Finance Ministry said.

Almost 65 percent were new loans, 25.7 percent was for refinancing while 9.8 percent supported exporters, according to figures from the ministry. The ministry did not provide figures for the same period last year.

Serbia boosted loan subsidies to more than 1 billion dinars ($87 million) in October to encourage banks to lend to companies facing liquidity problems during the Balkan nation’s second recession in three years.

The government will almost triple subsidies given to banks in 2013 to 3.44 billion dinars, according to next year’s budget adopted by parliament on Dec. 1.

The incentives are programmed to last through June next year and will be replaced with a 500 million-euro loan facility from the European Investment Bank, which offers private sector access to cheaper and longer-term funding.

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