EBRD sets up a fund for Western Balkans SMEs

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it has launched the Enterprise Expansion Fund II (ENEF II), a 71 million euro investment fund aimed at SMEs and mid-cap companies in the Western Balkans, with support from the European Union.

The ENEF II has raised 57 million euros in commitments from its initial investors, which include the EBRD, the EU, Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Germany’s Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau, the EBRD said in a press release on Wednesday.

In addition, Italy’s Banca Intesa will invest up to 7 million euros, marking the first private-sector contribution to the fund. The EU will match this investment, taking the fund’s resources to 71 million euros.

The ENEF II provides market-leading companies in the Western Balkans with a range of financing instruments, including equity, quasi-equity and tailor-made debt financing, and aims to build a portfolio comprising 15-20 companies, with individual investments ranging from 500,000 euro to 8 million euro.

The Fund was officially launched thanks to the organization of Italian Embassy in Belgrade and the launch was attended by Emanuele Giaufret, EU Ambassador to Serbia, Luca Gori, Italian Ambassador to Serbia and Anke Konrad, German Ambassador to Serbia, who underlined common priorities of promoting the growth of the private sector and further economic development in Western Balkans. Over 70 companies from Serbia, the wider region and Italy participated in the event to learn about financing opportunities and explore potential cooperation.

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Director for the Western Balkans, said on the occasion: “We very much welcome Banca Intesa’s participation in ENEF II, making it the first commercial investor to contribute capital to the fund. This will add a new dimension to our extensive cooperation with Banca Intesa in Serbia and the region. We look forward to working closely together to provide the required capital for innovative and high-potential SMEs.”

The Western Balkans countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The region remains a strategic area and focus for the EBRD, which has invested more than 18 billion euros in its economies.

(Nedeljnik, 14.03.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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