EFSE bolsters UniCredit Serbia's housing and MSE finance operations

The European Fund for South Eastern Europe (EFSE) - initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission - has signed a EUR 25 million loan facility with UniCredit Bank Serbia JSC (UniCredit). EUR 15 million is earmarked for strengthening the bank's MSE lending operations and EUR 10 million will support UniCredit's housing and home improvement loan programme.

"UniCredit Bank is an important bank for micro and small enterprises and households in Serbia," said Monika Beck, chairman of the board of EFSE. "Through the bank's country-wide network of 74 branches this new loan facility will provide long-term funding to the Fund's key client groups in Serbia.”

Claudio Cesario, CEO of UniCredit Bank Serbia stated: "We are very pleased with our cooperation with EFSE, whose credit lines will enable us to further strengthen our support to micro and small enterprises, which represent one of the key drivers of the Serbian economy. On the other side, our residential housing finance programme is offering two options to our clients: buying space for living, or adapting and renewing flats according to their needs."

UniCredit Bank is Serbia's third largest bank, with a market share of approximately 8 per cent. With its strong history of corporate clients, who currently account for around 75 per cent of its loan portfolio, it was a logical step for the bank to make use of this knowledge for the benefit of micro and small enterprises (MSE).

Housing is the second strong pillar of UniCredit's activities in Serbia, currently accounting for more than 40 per cent of the bank's portfolio of loans to private clients. As UniCredit's housing loan clients can be found all over Serbia and the bank is focusing on lower to middle income clients, the new loan will have a significant development impact on the EFSE portfolio in Serbia.

About the European Fund for Southeast Europe

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey. As access to finance is a key success factor in developing the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise segments, the EFSE focuses on assisting local financial sectors by strengthening their ability to ensure adequate and sustainable financing. The funding the EFSE provides as long-term finance, primarily for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) but also for private households in the form of home improvement loans, is channelled to these loan customers through local partner lending institutions. Supporting these investment activities is the EFSE Development Facility, which provides partner lending institutions with technical assistance, consulting and training services to build operational capacities and professional management.

Initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) on 15 December 2005 from four multi-donor programmes under its management, the EFSE is the first public-private partnership of its kind and the first privately managed fund in development finance to leverage private funding for MSE finance in the target region. Capital is provided by donor agencies, international financial institutions and private institutional investors, including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Commission (EC), the Government of Albania, Small and Medium Business Credit Support CJSC (SMBCS), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Armenia, the Development Bank of Austria (Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank - OeEB), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), KfW as lead investor, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Netherlands Finance Company (FMO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Sal. Oppenheim and Deutsche Bank.

Oppenheim Asset Management Services S.à r.l, Luxembourg, and Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, are the EFSE fund manager and fund advisor respectively.

About UniCredit Bank Serbia

UniCredit is one of Europe's leading commercial banks with strong roots in 20 European countries. Its network, which is present in roughly 50 markets, includes about 9,200 branches and more than 152,000 employees as of 30 April 2013. In the CEE region, UniCredit operates the largest international banking network with nearly 3,600 branches. The Group operates in the following countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

For more information about UniCredit Bank Serbia, please visit:
Media contact Media contact EFSE     
Media Relations
Merle Römer
Manager Communications and Events
Tel: +49 (0)69 9778 7650-171

Media contact UniCredit Bank Serbia JSC
Identity and Communications
Jelena ilić
Tel: + 381 11 3028 836

Get in touch

Interested in learning more about how the fund works, or seeking partnership opportunities? Contact an EFSE representative today.


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