EIB Global, OTP banka, and OTP Leasing in Serbia have agreed a credit line worth EUR 80 million for supporting Serbian SMEs. The funds will be available under favorable conditions to a large number of SMEs and mid-cap companies from various sectors to solve their financial needs and support new investments during the current crisis. By improving the long-term financing of enterprises in Serbia, this credit line will increase the capacity of SMEs for innovation and growth, while creating new employment opportunities.
This financial arrangement is under the Economic and Investment Plan of the European Commission for the Western Balkans, aimed at encouraging the sustainable development of the region through support within the framework of the Team Europe initiative. It will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of Serbian SMEs, growth led by the private sector, and the implementation of the upcoming national strategy for SMEs.
“Let me express my gratitude for the persistent and fruitful partnership with OTP banka Srbija, which has resulted in strong support for the private sector in the region. The signed investment will significantly support economic activity and the creation of new jobs by alleviating the credit constraints faced by SMEs due to the combined effect of the energy crisis and the pandemic. These funds will help them achieve their goals in terms of liquidity, employment, and investments, to adapt more quickly to the new digital and greener economic environment. In this way, new investments will increase economic resilience and employment, while enabling further integration of the country into global value chains,” – said Liljana Pavlova, Vice President Responsible for EIB Activities in Serbia.
The EIB has a long-standing successful cooperation with OTP banka Srbija, which for 15 years enabled the efficient placement of financial resources for SMEs and mid-cap companies. Through joint operations, banks have supported small businesses in various fields, such as energy, environmental protection, industry, health, education, services, tourism, and agriculture.
“Today we signed the most extensive financing agreement so far when it comes to international financial institutions, and I am especially pleased that the EIB remains our long-term partner. The previous year was the most successful in the history of the OTP Group in Serbia. We managed to achieve record business results and double-digit growth in all business segments, which further strengthened our position as the largest lender. Bearing that in mind, and with a credit line worth EUR 80 million, which has been doubled by our funds, I believe that we can more intensively provide much-needed financing to SMEs in Serbia and support their financial and investment needs,” – said Predrag Mihajlović, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of OTP banka Srbija.
“Thanks to our wide regional reach and focus on SMEs, OTP banka Srbija has the potential to provide financing for them under favorable conditions and contribute to the growth of the SME sector across the country. Most importantly, with the help of this credit line, we will enable them to grow, innovate and hire more people,” – mentioned Branimir Spasić, CFO and member of the Executive Board of OTP banka Srbija.
The EIB Group, which consists of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, has so far approved almost EUR 5.6 billion for SMEs in the Western Balkans, supporting their growth, recovery, and transformation, while at the same time preserving around 800,000 jobs.
Source: the Bank`s press release dated March 15, 2023