Following the signing of a guarantee agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF) in November 2018 for a total amount of EUR 25 million, UniCredit Bank has started approving investment and working capital loans, within the initiative „EU for Serbia – financing for SMEs” covered by guarantees from the Western Balkans Enterprise and Innovation Program, for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Thanks to the new contract, UniCredit Bank, will support a large number of these enterprises in Serbia with more favorable financing conditions, primarily reflected in lower interest rates, smaller collateral, longer maturities or a combination of these elements. Loans will be granted for working capital and financing of innovations/investments to a maximum amount of 500,000 euros at the Group level.
Spas Vidarkinsky, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking of UniCredit Bank has stated: „We are aware of the importance of the SME sector as a key driver of economic development and the creation of new jobs for all emerging economies. This segment of the economy has been the focus of UniCredit Bank for many years, we signed the first contract of this kind in 2014 and we have been able to support companies to date with Euro 30 million. What is especially important for our clients is that the loans will be provided at lower interest rates and with fewer collateral requirements as the European Investment Fund will guarantee a part of the risk, helping them to borrow .“
The “EU for Serbia – financing for SMEs” initiative is dedicated to the Serbian companies Guarantee scheme, which is funded by the European Union, on the initiative of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Serbia and managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The scheme is deployed under the umbrella of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) – a platform for cooperation between the European Commission and the Financing Institutions active in the region with the purpose to provide financing and support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments, which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.