Source: eKapija | Tuesday, 06.02.2018.| 13:28
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Another EUR 30 million of support to small and medium enterprises in Serbia – Banca Intesa and EIB sign new loan agreement

(Photo: rangizzz/shutterstock.com)
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banca Intesa have signed an agreement on a loan worth EUR 30 million for support to small and medium enterprises.

The agreement was signed by EIB Vice President Dario Scannapieco and the chairwoman of the Executive Board of Banca Intesa, Draginja Djuric, who reminded that the bank had a great cooperation with the EIB.

Intesa first signed an agreement worth EUR 60 million on the realization of the EU COSME Program, which provided Serbian companies with more favorable sources of finance, in December 2016. This document secured direct guarantees enabling Banca Intesa to support 3,000 SMEs with EUR 60 million in loans for the obtaining of working assets, under more favorable conditions, with a longer repayment period (36 months), with a very law interest rate and without a mortgage, over a period of two years.

Following that, an annex was signed in May 2017 aiming to enable the bank to support another 2,200 SMEs with additional EUR 100 million.

Finally, the European Investment Fund (EIF, a part of the EIB Group) and Banca Intesa signed an agreement on the InnovFin guarantee for support to innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs in Serbia, worth EUR 100 million, in November 2017.

Scannapieco reminded that, in 2018, the EIB had signed agreements on two credit lines with Erste Bank and the company S Leasing, worth EUR 60 million, and with Societe Generale, worth EUR 50 million, as well as two agreements on investment grants of EUR 73 million.

(Photo: EIB)
According to Scannapieco, the EIB has invested EUR 7 billion in the region since 2007, whereas financing of projects in the amount of USD 4.8 billion has been provided in Serbia since 2001.

He also said that the EIB was ready to support digitalization in Serbia and the implementation of high-speed internet in all schools and added that, as regards the financing, the bank had placed focus on the development of infrastructure, energy and support to SMEs, which are the driving engine of development and employment.

– For Serbia, this year is off to a good start, as four new loans and two agreements on grants worth EUR 347 million have been signed – Scannapieco said.

Money not an issue, projects needed

Scannapieco noted following the signing of the agreement with Banca Intesa on February 1 that providing funds wasn't and wouldn't be a problem, but that it was necessary to prepare good projects.

Banca Intesa agrees with this.

As Draginja Djuric, Chairwoman of the bank's Executive Board, told eKapija, the demand for these credit lines is great, as confirmed by the signing of another agreement with the EIB.

Nevertheless, she adds, although the procedure for these banking products is simpler and the interest rates lower, it's still very important to secure quality projects so that the bank could approve loans and guarantees for them.

M.V.
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