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Serbia to Seek Loan From Abu Dhabi Development Fund

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Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia will apply for a $100 million loan from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to help farmers expand water channels and low-voltage networks to their land, as well as buy new machinery to boost output.

The government will immediately submit the request, allowing the board of managers of the Abu Dhabi-based lender to consider and approve the funds in March, the Finance Ministry in Belgrade said in an e-mailed statement today.

Farmers would be getting 10-year loans with a three-year grace period and “a very low interest rate,” Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic said in the statement. If the first loan is successful, “the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will continue with the same-size financial assistance in the coming years,” the ministry added.

Serbia, increasingly looking east for cash and investments, has agreed with Abu Dhabi-based Al Dahra Agricultural Co to form a company next month that will invest about 300 million euros ($406.9 million) in food production and exports from the Balkan country.

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