EBRD support for Raiffeisen in Albania boosts lending to MSMEs
EBRD extends growth guarantee to Raiffeisen Bank in Albania by €65 million
Unfunded guarantee will underpin new financing to small businesses across Albania
Ten percent of the guaranteed funds will be allocated to green financing
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Raiffeisen Bank in Albania are once again partnering to increase the availability of finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Albania.
The EBRD is providing Raiffeisen Bank in Albania with an unfunded guarantee of €65 million in local currency linked to the bank’s domestic sovereign bond portfolio. The additional risk-taking capacity freed up by the guarantee will allow Raiffeisen Bank to commit new funds to Albanian MSMEs, thereby strengthening its support for the real economy. Ten percent of the newly available funds will be allocated to green financing, in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.
The additional guarantee is offered under the EBRD’s innovative Guarantee for Growth Facility, which it launched in late 2020 with Raiffeisen Bank in Albania in the amount of €100 million equivalent in local currency. The extension builds on the success of the initiative to date.
Ekaterina Solovova, EBRD Country Director for Albania, said: “Access to finance for SMEs through cooperation with local banks is one of the EBRD’s priorities in Albania. We are delighted to partner again with Raiffeisen Bank in Albania to support small businesses, especially in their green energy efforts.
Christian Canacaris, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank in Albania, said: “After the success of the first Guarantee for Growth initiative with the EBRD, which increased the lending potential of the market, we are pleased to subscribe to an additional guarantee of 65 million euros. . The guarantee will stimulate green finance and impact the country’s sustainable development. We appreciate our excellent long-term cooperation with the EBRD and are confident that it will continue in the future.
The project is part of the EBRD’s specific technical cooperation program with the Bank of Albania, the country’s central bank, which aims to ensure the equivalence of the local prudential framework with that of European Union banks. . The program is supported by the Luxembourg – Technical Cooperation Fund for Official Development Assistance (ODA) and builds on the work carried out under the Vienna Initiative, where the EBRD is actively working to preserve the financial stability in emerging Europe by promoting the regulatory alignment of banks with international standards. better training.
Raiffeisen Bank is Albania’s second largest bank in terms of loan portfolio, with a market share of 16.6%, providing general banking services throughout the country. It is 100% owned by the Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International AG.
To date, the EBRD has committed over €1.8 billion to projects in Albania.