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EBRD and Intesa Sanpaolo Group increase support to small businesses

The EBRD and Intesa Sanpaolo Group are joining forces to increase the availability of financing to the real economy sector in central and eastern Europe with a financing package of up to €100 million to Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s subsidiaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Serbia for on-lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Through this transaction the EBRD is supporting a systemically important banking group in the region. At a time when businesses face growing difficulties in obtaining funding for their development, this project will help ensure a continuous flow of financing to small and medium-sized companies, a sector that has been hit particularly hard by the crisis.

Subject to completion of legal documentation, the facility includes three SME credit lines of €20 million to Intesa Sanpaolo Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, €30 million to Banca Intesa Beograd and €50 million to CIB Bank (Hungary).

A part of the credit line to CIB Bank is denominated in Hungarian forints, with the view to promoting local currency lending and reduce exposure to foreign currency risks for un-hedged sub-borrowers.

 “Through this project the EBRD reconfirms its commitment to help the economies of the region address the impact of the financial crisis. The funds provided to the three subsidiaries of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group will facilitate the access to much-needed financing for businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary and Serbia in the current tight credit markets”, said Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions.

The EBRD financing offered to Intesa Sanpaolo Group is part of the Joint IFIs Action Plan, a joint initiative of EBRD, the World Bank Group and the European Investment Bank Group to provide €24.5 billion in support of banking systems and lending to the real economy in central and eastern Europe.

Since the launch of the initiative a year ago the EBRD has made available more than €3.8 billion in new funds for the financial institutions sector in countries of its operation. (press release)