The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the United Kingdom is extending a EUR 15 million loan to UniCredit Leasing Serbia for on-leasing to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The credit line will help expand lease financing to private businesses in Serbia, encouraging them to invest in high-performance standards, technologies, and services, enabling them to become more competitive and energy-efficient.
The credit line is part of the EBRD’s new SME Reboot Programme to support small firms’ recovery from the pandemic-induced slowdown. It will also aid the expansion of the green economy in Serbia by promoting investments in energy efficiency improvements. Around 70 % of the program funding will be allocated to investments in energy-saving and the green technologies energy-saving and the green technologies investments, while the
the remainder will support investments in automation, increased productivity, product quality, and safety.
The loan agreement was signed by the EBRD`s Vice President Allain Pilloux during his official visit to the country. He said: “We are happy to be partnering once again with UniCredit Leasing Serbia to extend this new credit line to support the recovery and development of the local businesses. The small businesses account for a substantial segment of the Serbian economy and helping them to invest in green and high-performing equipment and technology will help to increase their competitiveness both domestically and in external markets”.
“We are proud that UniCredit Leasing has been recognized once again as a reliable partner of the EBRD and we can further support SMEs in our country through this credit line. It is particularly important that SMEs, through this credit line, will be able to continue to improve their energy efficiency and the green economy, which is among the underlying tenets of our business,” – said Ana Milic, President of the Executive Board of UniCredit Leasing Serbia.
The SMEs will also benefit from the grant incentives worth up to 15 % of the lease amount. The grants will be funded by Luxembourg, Norway, and the United States of America, with other donors expected to participate.
UniCredit Leasing Serbia is a long-standing partner of the EBRD and the third-largest leasing company in the country. The new credit line will underpin UniCredit Leasing’s aim to increase leasing to SMEs all over the country. In the last four years, UniCredit Leasing has already utilized around EUR 40 million and successfully supported the SMEs in Serbia leveraging the EBRD funds.