EBRD and Credit Agricole to help Serbia's agricultural sector - €20 million loan contract signed
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Crédit Agricole Serbia are joining forces to increase the support for the country’s agricultural sector. Under the agreement local agribusinesses stand to benefit from a €20 million loan extended by the EBRD to facilitate access to funding and promote the use of warehouse receipts.
The facility is part of the EBRD’s €70 million risk sharing framework launched in July 2010 to finance the seasonal working capital needs of Serbian agricultural companies through participating partner banks.
Using warehouse receipts as collateral is expected to demonstrate the viability of lending against agricultural commodities and thus alleviate crucial access to funding for viable enterprises.
Agriculture is one of the key sectors of the Serbian economy, accounting for more than 15 per cent of the country’s GDP. Serbia is also the largest grain producer in South Eastern Europe.
- Through this facility the EBRD is supporting the further implementation of the warehouse receipts programme in Serbia, helping to develop agricultural commodity financing in the country. This project will give a boost to the development of agribusiness in Serbia, enabling local companies to access funding for their growth - said Hildegard Gacek, EBRD Director for Serbia.
- With the new model of collateral based on the warehouse receipt, financing of our agro clients will be more favorable and thus more attractive - added Marija Maric Mitrovic, Head of Corporate and Agro Division at Crédit Agricole Serbia.
The implementation of the EBRD warehouse receipt system in Serbia is supported by considerable technical assistance grants provided by the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization and USAID for training of key government stakeholders, participating banks and warehouse staff as well as for the introduction of an electronic register for warehouse receipts.