EIB Global and Banca Intesa Beograd to boost Serbian companies’ access to finance and green investments with a €100 million credit line.

EIB Global, the arm of the European Investment Bank (EIB) devoted to activities outside the European Union, and Banca Intesa Beograd, a member of the Intesa Sanpaolo international banking group, have signed a €100 million credit line aiming to enhance access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in Serbia and support private sector-led green projects. Made available on favourable terms, including longer maturities, the funds will enable companies to address their liquidity and investment needs amid consecutive challenges, while increasing their capacity to generate jobs, scale up and decarbonise their businesses. Overall, this credit line will boost the resilience of the Serbian economy, increase its competitiveness and support employment.

Part of the credit line will be specifically dedicated to supporting green investments by Serbian companies, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. By providing financing for investments that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, the funds will bolster the green transition and climate-resilient growth.

Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris, responsible for EIB activities in Serbia, said: “According to recent data, about one-fifth of SMEs are credit constrained in the Western Balkans. Along with providing funding on affordable terms and conditions, we are also supporting investments in cleaner mobility and renewable energy. In this way, we are supporting key European Commission initiatives for the Western Balkans, such as the Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda, as well as Serbian national priorities.”

Thanks to long-standing and fruitful cooperation between the EIB and Banca Intesa Belgrade, over €220 million has been allocated so far in support of over 350 companies in Serbia.

Banca Intesa Beograd CEO/Executive Board President Darko Popović stated: “Continuing our long-standing cooperation with the EIB aimed at supporting Serbia’s economic development through access to favourable finance, we have also strengthened our capacity to further support economic growth while placing a focus on SMEs as a key pillar of the domestic economy. The credit line will enable us to provide long-term finance for investments and liquidity, but also loans to finance green projects in this strategically important segment of the economy, contributing to its vitality and competitiveness, as well as to overall sustainable growth.”

As the bank of the European Union, the EIB has allocated close to €3 billion for Serbian SMEs to date through intermediated lending, supporting employment and expansion of local businesses.

Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia Emanuele Giaufret stated: “SME’s are the backbone of the economy and the EIB contribution to enable new credits complements well what the EU has been doing via grants.  Over the past year only, 716 companies in Serbia received EU financial assistance free of charge or reimbursement. These companies largely benefitted from the project “Serbia and the EU – equipment for SMEs” – the total budget is EUR 27 million. Since 2001, the European Union’s support for innovation and competitiveness in Serbia, including SMEs, has totalled more than EUR 250 million. I am glad that our EIB colleagues can provide extra funds for the sector with this credit line.”

Background information

About the European Investment Bank and EIB Global

The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to foster EU policy goals. www.eib.org

About EIB Global

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnerships within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the EIB Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.

About Banca Intesa Beograd

Banca Intesa Beograd, a member of the Intesa Sanpaolo international banking group, has been at the forefront of the Serbian market for more than 15 years. Thanks to a unique combination of physical and digital presence, a comprehensive offer of modern financial solutions, superior customer experience and top-quality service, the bank boasts 1.4 million clients in the corporate and retail segments. Banca Intesa’s business success is evidenced by its customer base as well as by numerous international awards for best bank in Serbia from renowned finance magazines The Banker, Euromoney and Global Finance. Acknowledging its role in supporting green transition and promoting inclusive growth, Banca Intesa integrates ESG principles into its business processes, policies and products, contributing to solving social and environmental challenges, as well as strengthening the sustainability and resilience of its own business model.

About the EIB in Serbia

The EIB has been active in Serbia since 1977, providing finance to support key infrastructure projects as well as SMEs, industry, services and local authorities. Since the start of its activities in the country, it has enabled over €7.2 billion of investment in SMEs and the revitalisation of transportation, education, healthcare and utility infrastructure. For more information regarding the EIB’s projects in Serbia, please visit https://www.eib.org/en/projects/regions/enlargement/the-western-balkans/serbia/index.htm

About the EIB in the Western Balkans

The EIB is one of the leading international financiers in the Western Balkans. Since 2009, the Bank has financed projects totalling over €11 billion in the region.

For detailed information on the EIB’s activities in the Western Balkans, please visit www.eib.org/en/publications/the-eib-in-the-western-balkans.