The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, approved the loan of RSD 775 million (around EUR 6.5 million) to Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) for financing agriculturists and micro and small enterprises (MSE) so that they could develop their business and generate new jobs.
The IFC will also provide consultancy services to OBS in developing a digitization strategy, the WB institution announced today.
The first dinar loan by the IFC will help OBS, a bank which focuses on providing financial services to agriculturists and micro enterprises, to further expand its portfolio.
– This is the first IFC loan denominated in RSD, which eliminates the effects of currency differences for the borrower – stated Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeastern Europe.
He pointed out that the IFC loan would aid the development of OBS and the expansion of financial options for local agriculturists and small enterprises, whereas the provision of consulting services would help Opportunity Bank to start digitizing its activities in line with the best international practices.
– Micro and small entrepreneurs and agriculturists are often excluded from the banking sector, as they either have no collateral or no credit history or are considered to small for the high transaction expenses – Vladimir Vukotic, President of the Executive Board of OBS, said on this occasion.
He added that the credit and consultancy services of the IFC would help the bank strengthen its long-term dedication to supporting this segment, seeing how it focuses on sustainable growth and further diversification of the portfolio by including small and medium enterprises.
New employment opportunities created by the private sector are even more important in today's Serbia, in which the government has initiated reforms in a number of state companies. The process will only increase the role of small and medium enterprises and agricultural production in creating new jobs, the IFC press release says.
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