By Axel Reiserer
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of up to €15 million(US$17.68million) to Intesa Sanpaolo Banka d.d. BiH in support of local small businesses facing the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The EBRD funds will be on-lent as short-term capital and liquidity support for private companies affected by a severe fall in demand.
In response to the pandemic the EBRD launched a €4 billion Resilience Framework to provide much-needed support to existing clients. The Bank has seen record demand for its services and now expects to dedicate the entirety of its planned investments of more than €21 billion in the period 2020-21 to overcome the current crisis.
Intesa Sanpaolo Banka d.d. BiH, a subsidiary of the Italian banking group, is a long-standing partner of the EBRD and services the whole territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a wide network of branches. Both banks share a focus on private sector growth and development, for which growing competitiveness is a key factor.
EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Manuela Naessl said: “We are very pleased to sign this loan agreement with Banca Intesa Sanpaolo. It will allow us to work closely with a well-known, trusted partner and will benefit the small businesses on which the local economy is built. When this crisis is over, the country and the region will need agile, competitive and innovative small businesses as never before. So today our top priority must be to help them through these difficult times and make them fit for tomorrow’s challenges.”
Since it began operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, the EBRD has invested more than €2.7 billion in 187 projects in the country.