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With New Loan to MK Group, IFC Further Fuels Serbia’s Farming Sector


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


Belgrade, Serbia, June 13, 2014 IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €25 million loan to MK Group, a leading agribusiness conglomerate in Serbia, to support the country’s agribusiness sector, creating jobs and reducing the trade deficit.  
 
IFC’s long-term financing will support MK Group’s expansion and business sustainability. The loan will be used for agricultural equipment and to improve production, storage, and cost efficiency at Carnex, Serbia’s leading meat producer, and Sunoko, MK’s sugar milling firm.

“We see this loan as recognition of our strategy and we expect IFC to play an important part in its implementation,” said Miodrag Kostic, President of MK Group. “Our partnership with IFC dates back to 2012, when IFC extended its first, €45 million loan to the group.”

Around one third of Serbia’s exports are generated by the agribusiness sector, which employs 26 percent of the labor force. Agribusiness has a direct impact on poverty reduction in Serbia, particularly in frontier regions where agriculture is critical to job creation.

“Agribusiness represents the cornerstone of our strategy in the region,” said Carsten Meuller, IFC Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services for Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. “During the past fiscal year, IFC invested more than $400 million in agribusiness in Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, Croatia, Turkey, and Serbia. IFC is working with MK Group to support inclusive economic development in Serbia and increase the country’s food production and exports.”  

Serbia became a shareholder and member of IFC in 2001. IFC’s committed investment portfolio in Serbia as of February 2014 was $704.6 million. IFC is focusing its investments in Serbia on increasing access to finance by supporting the development of local financial institutions and financing companies in the agribusiness and manufacturing sectors. IFC’s advisory services aim to improve the investment climate and performance of private sector companies, and to attract private sector participation in infrastructure projects.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About MK Group
MK Group is one of the leading holding companies in Serbia and is currently the largest vertically integrated agribusiness company in Europe. It is a system which consists of 35 companies and employs more than 4,500 workers in Serbia and Ukraine. Besides agriculture, the company is involved in sugar and meat industry, tourism, renewable energy sources, real estate etc. For more information, visit www.mkgroup.rs.

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