The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed four loans totalling EUR 110m in Serbia with the Serbian banking and leasing subsidiaries of Intesa Sanpaolo and Société Générale. These loans will support projects by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and infrastructure schemes by local authorities. They are the initial tranches of a total of EUR 190m in credit lines already approved by the EIB to support the Serbian economy together with the two banking groups.

The loans are provided under the EU Pre-Accession Facility which is aimed at assisting Serbia in its efforts to integrate into the European Union.

The operations signed with the two local banks will improve the access of Serbian SMEs and midcap companies to long-term financing provided on favourable terms, with positive effects on the job market and the social environment including youth employment, which is at the core of the Bank’s Economic Resilience Initiative for the Western Balkans and Southern Neighbourhood,” said Dario Scannapieco, the EIB Vice-President responsible for the Western Balkans. “I am really pleased with our cooperation with the Serbian authorities and Serbian financial institutions: these loans represent a continuation of the very successful relationship between the EIB and both Intesa Sanpaolo Group and Société Générale subsidiaries”, he added.

Banca Intesa Beograd, EUR 80m

In the current environment, the operation will increase the availability of funding for SMEs while reducing overall financing costs. The EIB credit line will also finance projects promoted by midcaps and other final beneficiaries in the areas of the knowledge economy, energy, environmental protection, industry, health, education and services.

EUR 30m in loans will be managed by Banca Intesa Beograd and EUR 20m by Intesa Leasing Beograd, constituting the first two tranches of a EUR 80m credit line.

Societe Generale Bank Srbija, EUR 110m

A EUR 20m loan was signed with the Serbian subsidiary of Paris-based Société Générale, while a EUR 40m loan was signed with Sogelease Serbia, the leasing company wholly-owned by Societe Generale Bank Srbija.

These loans have features similar to the two mentioned above, including participation in the European Youth Employment and Training Initiative for the Western Balkans launched by the EIB. They are the initial tranches of a EUR 110m credit line.

The EIB is the leading international financier in the Western Balkans and has been active in the region since 1977. Since 2006, the Bank has financed projects totalling EUR 6.4bn. In 2016, the EIB signed financing contracts amounting to EUR 427m in the region, while total disbursements stood at EUR 592m. In 2010, the EIB opened a Regional Representation Office based in Belgrade in order to facilitate the development of EIB activity in the region, while underlining the commitment of the European institutions to supporting the Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries of the region in their journey towards the European Union.