Sarajevo [Bosnia and Herzegovina], October 17 (ANI / FENA): The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) grants a loan of up to € 5 million to Sparkasse Bank dd in Bosnia and Herzegovina to boost the competitiveness of small businesses local.
The loan to Sparkasse Bank is granted under the SME Competitiveness Support Program, a joint initiative of the EBRD and the European Union (EU). The loan will be secured by international sovereign bonds, the first time the EBRD has used such a financing structure in a project with a commercial bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sparkasse will on-lend EBRD funds to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for investments that will improve their competitiveness and compliance with EU technical standards, for example in energy efficiency, renewable energies, ‘water efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and improved health and safety standards, At least 60% of loans will go to the green transition.
The SME Competitiveness Support Program combines loans and grants, providing incentives in the form of EU-funded grants representing up to 15% of the total loan amount for the successful implementation of the investments. This will make local businesses more competitive and improve their chances of success in national, regional and international markets.
Sparkasse Bank manages total assets of BAM 1.84 billion (EUR 943 million) and has over 500 employees in 38 branches across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The bank serves individuals, SMEs, large companies, institutional clients and the public sector. It is owned by the Steiermarkische Bank und Sparkassen AG in Austria.
Manuela Naessl, EBRD Director for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “We are very happy to sign this loan agreement today and to support the strengthening of the real economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina with our long-standing partner , Sparkasse Bank. Overcoming Covid- The 19-pandemic is forcing businesses to start investing again and this line of credit will help local SMEs make those investments and rebuild the economy to be stronger, more resilient, greener and more competitive . the competitiveness of the SME segment and the creation of new jobs are strategic objectives of Sparkasse Bank. Our mission is to support the development of the local economy and to support businesses that create added value for society. So I am very happy that, even in these difficult times, together with our partner the EBRD, we strongly support SMEs by helping them to align their business models with EU standards and requirements. and Sparkasse Bank will help businesses become key generators of new jobs and sustainable development in their local communities. “Since it started operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, the EBRD has invested more than 2.7 billion euros in 190 projects across the country, said the EBRD in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (ANI / FENA )