Source: Tanjug | Monday, 13.04.2020.| 15:27
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EBRD to Help Companies in Europe with EUR 3 Billion – Serbia to Get 700 to 750 Million Euros

Illustration (Photo: Maryna Pleshkun/
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will approve three times as much in aid to companies in Europe, from EUR 1 billion, announced a month ago, to EUR 3 billion, as Zsuzsanna Hargitai, the Regional Director of the EBRD for Western Balkans, announced for Tanjug.

Of the total amount of EUR 3 billion, the Western Balkans stand to get up to EUR 1.5 billion (including capital investments of EUR 1.3 billion), with 700 to 750 million set aside for Serbia.

Of the amount meant for Serbia, around 40% of the money will be used to support companies in the pandemic crisis.

Around EUR 400 million is set aside for domestic companies, and large companies, in addition to micro, small and medium ones, can also apply for the credits, as can state companies, to which around EUR 150 million is available now.

In the past years, the EBRD has set aside around EUR 150 million in Serbia for credit support and an additional amount of around EUR 100 million for the financing of import and export.

– This year, we expect there will be 300 to 350 million euros. I expect that we will sign the first agreement on the first week of May – Hargitai said.

Large companies have applied for around EUR 50 million for working assets so far.

– There are also talks about whether funds should be provided for public companies as well, and the package would amount to 100 to 200 million euros – Hargitai explains.

She reminds that, last week, the EBRD launched a project of consulting services for cities in Serbia, as the auditing of annual budgets is getting closer. The project aims to help towns and municipalities redirect money to efforts to counter the coronavirus crisis.

Hargitai explains that nearly all investors to which the EBRD has provided support for investments in Serbia have continued realizing investments in the current year, except for one investment by a foreign investor, which will continue after the crisis ends.

There are also negotiations, she says, about financing the solid waste management sector, and the EBRD offers to the state for the first drawdown of the credit to be directed at local utility enterprises.

When asked by Tanjug what the new projections are when it comes to the functioning of the economy in Europe and in the Western Balkans, Hargitai says that the EBRD will publish an analysis for the region and the countries the bank operates in on May 13.

In the EU states and the Western Balkans, the EBRD's projection entailed a drop in the GDP by 3-5%, but she notes that it all depends on the execution of the economic measures by the EU in its owns states and by Serbia for its economy and citizens.
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