SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), August 29 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday it is providing a 10 million euro ($12.6 million) credit line to Bosnia's Intesa Sanpaolo Bank for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Majority-owned by Intesa Sanpaolo Holding International, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank is the fifth-largest banking group in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The EBRD loan, extended under the EBRD’s Western Balkans and Croatia Financing Framework, will assist Intesa Sanpaolo Bank in meeting the demand from private sector enterprises for external financing to support them during the economic crisis, the multilateral lender said in a statement.
“In the current environment when access to finance for small and medium companies is becoming limited, the EBRD is pleased to continue its successful cooperation with Intesa Sanpaolo Bank and to provide a new credit line for SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We expect this project to have an immediate impact on the availability of credit,” the head of the EBRD office in Sarajevo, Libor Krkoska, said in the statement.
The EBRD has provided Intesa Sanpaolo Bank with similar credit lines in the past, most recently a 20 million euro facility in 2010.
Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has committed more than 1.4 billion euro in over 100 projects in key sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investments of more than 1.6 billion euro.
The Western Balkans and Croatia Financing Framework is a 250 million euro framework aimed at supporting banks and non-bank financial institutions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia.