Support for SMEs, mortgages and leasing in Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Yesterday, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG signed an agreement in Kiev to team up and provide loans for Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the residential mortgage and small business industrial leasing sectors.
Raiffeisen Bank Aval, the second-largest bank in Ukraine, will receive a 32 million euros mortgage loan to finance local residential mortgage loans. The loan will provide long-term financing to Raiffeisen Bank Aval for on-lending to individuals for purchasing, building, renovating, repairing and re-mortgaging residential property in Ukraine. An additional 300,000 euros in technical cooperation funds for administrative capacity building will be provided by the Canadian International Development Agency.
Raiffeisen Bank Bosna i Hercegovina, also the second-largest bank in the country, will receive 30 million euros to continue to focus on SMEs located across the country, taking advantage of its sizeable regional network, and to increase the availability of SME financing with longer maturities.
Raiffeisen Leasing, the country’s second-largest leasing company, will receive 10 million euros to continue to finance leases for SMEs across the country in amounts of up to 125,000 euros. The loan will provide the company with the necessary financial support to increase the availability of lease financing at longer maturities for the purchase of fixed assets by Bosnian SMEs. This, in turn, will contribute towards promoting competition in the sector.
The loans to the two Raiffeisen subsidiaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina mark the launch of the extended and expanded EBRD Western Balkans and Croatia Financing Framework, a 250 million euros multi-client, multi-product framework aimed at providing partner financial institutions in the region with a full range of financial products, including micro and SME credit lines, mortgage financing, consumer finance, leasing finance, guarantee facilities, syndicated loans, subordinated debt and equity investments.
Kurt Geiger, EBRD Business Group Director for Financial Institutions, said that Raiffeisen International was an important partner for the EBRD in reaching out to private-sector business and increasing access to finance for large areas in the region where access to finance remains limited. In these uncertain times of global financial market conditions, such loans would help fill the gaps for medium and long-term financing to the real economies of the region. «Banks like Raiffeisen are vehicles which enable us to reach together into the entrepreneurial heart of our region, helping to create jobs and boost economic growth», he added.
Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International, highlighted the history of fruitful co-operation between the EBRD and Raiffeisen. «It is of utmost importance that the EBRD provides financing to the backbone of developing economies, helping entrepreneurs grow their business and providing individuals with better access to mortgage financing. Due to our strong position in the region, Raiffeisen is an ideal partner to distribute these funds», said Stepic.
The EBRD is the largest investor in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, having invested more than 36 billion euros for a total value of projects of more than 116 billion euros. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, it aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies from Central Europe to central Asia. www.ebrd.com
Raiffeisen International operates one of the largest banking networks in CEE. 17 markets of Europe’s growth region are covered by subsidiary banks, finance leasing companies and a number of other financial service providers. Over 14 million customers are attended to through more than 3,000 business outlets. Raiffeisen International is a fully consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB), which owns 68.5 per cent of the common stock. The balance is free float, the shares are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is a leading corporate and investment bank in Austria and the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country’s largest banking group.