News Column

Montenegro: EUR 45 Million For SMEs And Other Projects

May 7, 2014



BRUSSELS, May 7 -- The European Investment Bank issued the following news release:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has recently signed in Podgorica two contracts in favour of the local economy designed to support the country on its path towards the European Union. The loans are aimed at financing small and medium-scale projects carried out by small and medium-sized enterprises as well as final beneficiaries of any size and ownership, including local authorities.

* EUR 20 million loan through Societe Generale Banka Montenegro * EUR 25 million loan through IDF (Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro)

"Thanks to these operations we are continuing to support the country in the key sector of small and medium-sized enterprises, which constitute the real base of Montenegro's local economy", said Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in the Western Balkans. "I am, moreover, very pleased that this investment will impact positively on jobs and employment opportunities in the country".

EUR 20 million through Societe Generale Banka

This loan aims at financing SMEs' projects, small and medium-sized infrastructure schemes promoted by local authorities and industrial investments in the fields of the knowledge economy, energy, environmental protection, health and education in compliance with the EIB's eligibility criteria. The EIB will finance up to 100% of the total project cost for SMEs and up to 50% for other project types. A minimum of 70% of the loan will be allocated to SME lending.

EUR 25 million for SMES through IDF

The loan signed by the EIB and the IDF constitutes the second EUR 25 million tranche of a total EUR 50 million loan aimed at supporting SMEs and other projects in the country. IDF is the fully State-owned development bank of Montenegro and benefits from an explicit State guarantee under its founding law. IDF began its activities in 2010.

In the present market environment, these operations will increase the availability and maturity of funding for SMEs, a key driver of economic and social progress in Montenegro, and reduce overall financing costs. The current loans represent the third largest operation in the country in favour of the SME sector: a first EUR 90 million loan was approved in 2009 and disbursed through eight domestic commercial banks, and the first EUR 25 million tranche through IDF was signed in October 2012 and completely disbursed.

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