EFSE expands access to housing finance in Montenegro
EUR 30 million loan to Erste Bank Montenegro reestablishes successful partnership for inclusive finance
Luxembourg and Podgorica, 6 August 2019 – The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has provided a senior loan of EUR 30 million to Erste Bank Montenegro in order to boost access to housing finance in the country. The investment is particularly intended to extend opportunities for borrowers to purchase homes or improve existing living places at affordable conditions.
Erste Bank Montenegro is the second largest bank in Montenegro, with an expansive branch network optimally positioned to reach homeowners across the country. The bank’s housing portfolio has almost doubled over the past three years, with about 50% of this portfolio outside the capital of Podgorica. Young and first-time home buyers represent a significant portion of clients. With this new investment, EFSE and Erste Bank Montenegro are continuing the success of a previous collaboration that enabled housing and small business financing to be provided to around 6,600 borrowers.
EFSE Board Chairman Christoph Tiskens said: “With its strong presence on the market, Erste Bank Montenegro has proven a strategic ally for EFSE in our endeavour to promote prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood Region. The fulfilment of basic needs – such as access to long-term solutions for housing – is a critical step in establishing the conditions for economic growth and creating future prospects. We are delighted to once again be partnering with Erste Bank Montenegro in creating options for people to improve their quality of life.”
Aleksa Lukić, Chief Executive Officer of Erste Bank Montenegro, remarked: “We are delighted to continue our cooperation with EFSE, which will provide additional impetus to the dynamic growth of our housing loan portfolio and thus contribute to further strengthening our market position within this segment. This credit line will support numerous families in Montenegro in fulfilling their aspirations and resolving one of the major priorities in life – quality living space – whilst buying or renovating their homes under favourable conditions.”
One of the largest development finance funds worldwide, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood Region by investing in the success of micro and small enterprises as well as improved living conditions for private households. As access to financial services is key to developing this segment, EFSE focuses on helping local financial sectors strengthen their ability to provide responsible financing for this target group. Alongside its investment activities through local partners, EFSE multiplies its impact through the EFSE Development Facility, which provides technical assistance, training, and other nonfinancial support to entrepreneurs and institutions.
EFSE was initiated by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. As the first public-private partnership of its kind, EFSE draws its capital from donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private institutional investors.
Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, serves as EFSE’s advisor and Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A., Luxembourg, acts as manager.
For more information on the European Fund for Southeast Europe, please visit: www.efse.lu
For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit: www.finance-in-motion.com
About Erste Bank Podgorica, Montenegro
Erste Bank AD Podgorica has operated under this name since July 2009. It is one of the leading banks on the Montenegrin market. The bank’s market share was 13.22% at the end of June 2019, which placed it at the second position according to assets. The owner of 100% of the share capital of Erste Bank AD Podgorica is Erste & Steirmärkische Bank d.d. Rijeka, member of Erste Group – founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank. Erste Group has grown through numerous acquisitions and organic growth to become one of the largest financial services providers in the Eastern part of the EU in terms of clients and total assets.
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