The European Investment Bank (EIB) has made two €50mn loans to support lending to Serbian SMEs.

The loans have been given to Raiffeisen Belgrade and Erste Bank Novi Sad, who will make loans on the ground to support infrastructure projects. The ultimate aim of the financing is to assist Serbia’s efforts to integrate into the EU.

Andréas Beikos, the head of EIB’s Belgrade office, tells GTR that the loans will finance projects that “increase growth and employment potential including SME support, address economic and social cohesion, link regional and national transport infrastructure and support competitive, secure and sustainable energy supply”.

The financing is part of an ongoing financing drive from the EIB, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to encourage economic recovery in Central and Southeastern Europe.

Over the next two years, €32bn of debt financing will be available, as the bodies attempt to “rekindle growth by supporting private and public sector initiatives, including infrastructure, corporate investment and the financial sector”.

The terms of the loans remain confidential.