Austria and European Commission to Join the European Fund for Southeastern Europe

16. Juni 2006, 00:00

Besides Germany and Switzerland, Austria and the European Commission will also join the European Fund for...

Besides Germany and Switzerland, Austria and the European Commission will also join the European Fund for Southeastern Europe (EFSE), which is helping the development of Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

Starting next year, the funds capital will increase from EUR 150 million to EUR 270 million. EFSE will offer three kinds of products in the Montenegrin market: credits for micro and small firms, farming and housing loans with a repayment period of up to 10 years, officials of the Montenegrin government explained.

On June 19, Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Branimir Gvozdenovic will sign a memorandum of understanding with the European Commission and the Austrian government on their accession to EFSE.

The funds means are invested solely through local banks and the aim of the fund is to support the economic development and prosperity in Southeastern Europe, focusing on the needs of micro and small firms, and households.

EFSEs predecessor, EFM, successfully cooperated with four financial institutions in Montenegro: Montenegrin Commercial Bank, Euromarket Bank, Opportunity Bank and micro-financial institution Agroinvest. Since its foundation until the end of 2005, EFM invested EUR 30 million in Montenegro.

EFSE was founded in December 2005 and is headquartered in Luxembourg. Its promoter is KfW, while company Oppenheim-Pramerica manages the fund, together with Bankakademie as adviser.

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