Less than a week ago, Serbian Finance Minister, Siniša Mali, announced on social media that the share of external debt in the country’s GDP is currently 50.5 percent, while data on the debt’s structure as of June of this year are available on the Public Debt Administration portal. Public debt stood at 51.7 percent.
According to the Administration’s report, at the end of June, the total public debt amounted to 35.74 billion euros and the biggest creditors of Serbia were the buyers of Eurobonds and long-term government bonds in dinars. The state owes EUR 8.93 billion on the basis of Eurobonds and EUR 7.79 billion on long-term securities.
A kind of “top list” of Serbia’s biggest creditors has been compiled by the same institutions for years, only their position in the table changes. By comparison with the data from June last year, however, it is noticeable that there was an increase in indebtedness for significant sums.
In June of this year, one of the biggest Chinese banks, Export-Import Bank of China, was in fourth place among creditors, to which Serbia currently owes 2.37 billion euros, according to data from the Public Debt Administration.
With that bank, as can be seen from this year’s budget, our country has contracted 13 loans, some of which are already being repaid, such as the loan for the construction of the Zemun-Borča bridge, the Obrenovac-Ljig and Surčin-Obrenovac motorway sections, the loan for the modernization of the railway from Belgrade to of Budapest or the construction of the new block of Kostolac B.
Serbia owes the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development only 100 million euros less than the Chinese bank, which is exactly 2.21 billion euros.
When it comes to loans granted by foreign and domestic commercial banks, the budget for 2023 plans to issue loan payment guarantees in the amount of slightly less than 2 billion euros this year, for public companies Srbijagas, EPS and Elektrodistribucija, as well as railway projects.
In October last year, Srbijagas was granted 225 million euros worth of loans by OTP and DSK Bank, as well as for another 105 million euros by Unicredit Bank, AIK and NLB Komercijalna Banka.
Until June of last year, for example, the debt to the International Monetary Fund amounted to 1.22 billion euros, which will increase to 2.4 billion euros in the middle of 2023, so the IMF is currently the third largest creditor of Serbia.
Also in June of last year, the value of loans granted to Serbia by foreign governments amounted to 2.83 billion euros and this year they will amount to 3.375 billion euros. Furthermore, last year, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund granted Serbia a new loan in the amount of 1 billion dollars.
This post is also available in: Italiano