Partnership will provide unfunded risk participation of €30 million.
Photo courtesy of EBRD.
TIRANA, ALBANIA -- Société Générale Albania and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are joining forces to increase local farmers’ and agribusiness companies’ access to finance, especially in remote regions of the country.

The EBRD, together with the government, is providing unfunded risk participation of €30 million. This will free up to €60 million in loans to be provided by Société Générale Albania to local agribusiness clients.

In addition, technical cooperation funds will support Société Générale Albania with developing and marketing new financial products that meet the needs of the local agribusiness sector. Agribusiness is a vital sector of Albania’s economy. It provides employment for more than 50% of the population in rural areas and accounts for around 20% of the country’s GDP. However, the sector remains underserviced by financial institutions, with loans to agribusiness accounting for only 2% of total lending to the economy.

The Albania Agribusiness Support Facility, launched by the EBRD and the government of Albania in 2016, is addressing this challenge by improving access to finance for local agribusinesses through dedicated credit lines or by sharing the risk of lending to the agribusiness sector. The government has committed to make available up to €36 million to support the facility and the EBRD is providing up to €100 million in funding and risk-sharing facilities.

In December 2016, Fondi BESA joined the support facility and will receive a loan of up to €5 million ($5.35 million) for on-lending to eligible farmers and agribusinesses in Albania.

Société Générale Albania is a subsidiary of Société Générale Group, one of the largest European banks ranked 10th by total assets as of year-end 2015. The group is also a major player in many countries where the EBRD invests and has had a local presence in Albania since 2007.

Since the start of its operations in Albania, the EBRD has invested more than €1 billion in about 75 projects in the country. The bank is active in all sectors of the economy with a special emphasis on infrastructure and energy, where demand and potential are high.