Belgrade, Serbia, October 10, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €50 million loan to UniCredit
Bank Serbia, allowing the bank to increase access to finance for agribusiness,
especially small and medium enterprises, and to support mortgage lending
to low-income clients.
The global economic crisis hit Serbia and other southern European countries
hard, straining banks and weakening economic development. The new loan
is part of IFC’s strategy to strengthen the region’s banking sector and
support economic recovery by boosting lending to agribusiness.
“This transaction consolidates our strategic partnership with IFC,” said
Klaus Priverschek, CEO of UniCredit Bank Serbia. “IFC’s loan will enable
us to increase our support to agribusiness and bolster mortgage financing
for low-income clients.”
IFC has made agribusiness a priority because of its potential for development,
especially its strong role in reducing poverty. Agriculture represents
21 percent of Serbia’s gross domestic product and continues to generate
a trade surplus for the country.
“We are working with UniCredit to stabilize the financial and banking
system in the region and ensure that finance continues to flow to businesses
and people that need it,” said Ed Strawderman, IFC Senior Manager, Financial
Markets, Europe and Central Asia. “IFC’s loan will increase funding to
agribusiness, which generates significant employment in Serbia, and also
will support the revival of the construction industry, which was hit hard
by the current crisis.”
Serbia became a member of IFC in 2000. As of 31 August 2011, IFC's investment
portfolio in Serbia stands at $384 million. IFC Advisory Services aim to
improve the investment climate and access to finance, and to attract private
sector participation in development of infrastructure projects.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,
About UniCredit Bank Serbia
For more information, visit www.unicreditbank.rs.