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IFC Loan to Increase Agribusiness Lending in Serbia, Support Economic Recovery


In Belgrade:
Slobodan Brkic
Phone:  +381 11 3023 750
E-mail:  
SBrkic@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Julie Ziegler

Phone:  (202) 473-0128

E-mail:  
JZiegler@ifc.org


Belgrade, Serbia,  July 16, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing Serbia’s Société Générale Banka Srbija with a €40 million loan to increase access to finance for agribusiness and help speed up economic recovery.

This loan is a part of IFC’s regional strategy aimed at strengthening the region’s banking sector while supporting economic recovery by boosting lending to small and medium enterprises and agribusiness.

“We are pleased to consolidate our strategic partnership with IFC with this transaction,” said Antoine Toussaint, President of the Executive Board of Société Générale Banka Srbija.  “With IFC’s loan we can increase our support to agribusiness in Serbia.”


IFC has made agribusiness a priority because of its potential for development and especially strong role in poverty reduction.  Agriculture represents 21 percent of Serbia’s gross domestic product and continues to generate a trade surplus for the country.


“We are working with Société Générale to stabilize the financial and banking system in the region and ensure that finance continues to flow to businesses that need it,” said Giovanni Daniele, IFC Resident Representative in Serbia.  “IFC’s loan will increase funding to agribusiness, which generates significant exports and employment opportunities in Serbia.”

In March 2009, the largest multilateral investors and lenders in Central and Eastern Europe—the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank Group, and the World Bank Group, including IFC—pledged to provide up to €24.5 billion to support the banking sectors in the region and to fund lending to businesses hit by the global economic crisis.  Under the two-year plan, the World Bank Group pledged to provide support of about €7.5 billion, including up to €2 billion through IFC.  IFC’s crisis-response initiatives under the plan focus on sectors including banking, infrastructure, and trade, as well as through its traditional investment and advisory services.  

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Société Générale Banka Srbija

Société Générale Srbija is part of one of the world’s largest banking groups, which operates in 83 countries with more than 30 million clients. In Serbia, Société Générale has been present since 1977, at first as representative office, and then as the first domestic bank with majority of foreign capital. Today, Société Générale Srbija is one of the most active banks on the market, offering a wide range of products and services through its network of over 90 branches across Serbia. For more information about Société Générale Srbija, visit
www.societegenerale.rs. For more Société Générale Group, visit www.socgen.com.