The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has extended a €5m (£5.7m) loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Kosovo (RLKO) to improve access to leasing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
According to the EBRD, RLKO is the only institution to offer leasing in the country, where the product remains at low levels of penetration.
Noel Edison, EBRD director for insurance and financial services, said: “We are very pleased to extend this loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Kosovo today. It is an important step which will allow us to address two important challenges at the same time: developing the leasing market in Kosovo and facilitating local small businesses’ access to finance.”
Gjon Gjonlleshaj, executive director at RLKO, added: “The start of our cooperation with the EBRD marks an important milestone in the development of our institution. By reaching out to private small businesses we are offering this vibrant segment of Kosovo’s economy means to finance their expansion and growth.”
The agreement is the first EBRD engagement with leasing in Kosovo, out of 52 projects finance in the country to date. RLKO is a fully owned subsidiary of German group Raffeisen, operating in Kosovo as a non-bank institution.
Kosovo, which gained independence from Serbia in 2008, unilaterally switched its currency from the German Mark to the Euro in 2002.