€7 million loan to benefit local small and medium-sized enterprises
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are to benefit from a loan of up to €7 million that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing to Raiffeisen Leasing d.o.o. Sarajevo for on-lending to local businesses.
Small businesses constitute the largest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economy and create the majority of jobs. Supporting this vital segment of the economy is a key objective for the EBRD.
However, access to finance often remains challenging for these enterprises. Here, leasing often offers a viable and attractive alternative, but market penetration of leasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains below the EU average. The EBRD loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Sarajevo aims to increase the activities in this sector, as leasing equipment offers expanding enterprises additional options to credit-fuelled growth.
Ian Brown, EBRD Head of Office in Sarajevo, said: “We are very pleased to extend this loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Sarajevo for on-lending to local enterprises. This will support the deepening of the leasing market in Bosnia and Herzegovina and benefit the country’s real economy. The EBRD’s funding will address one of the challenges the country’s economy is facing. €ť
“I am particularly pleased that with this credit line we are continuing the successful cooperation between Raiffeisen Leasing and the EBRD which started in 2007 and which, to date, includes three credit lines totalling €25 million. The proceeds of this new credit line of up to€7 million will be used to finance SMEs, while primarily focusing on financing commercial and construction vehicles and equipment, €ť said Munir Čengić, Director of Raiffeisen Leasing.
Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina the EBRD has invested €1.8 billion in some 130 projects in the country. Strengthening economic resilience is one of the three key priorities of the EBRD under its current business strategy that aims to re-energise growth in its countries of operations, promote regional integration and address global and regional challenges.