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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, visit
About UniCredit Bank Serbia
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