Société Générale Albania, a banking and financial services company, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD, signed Thursday an agreement to support a lending instrument designed to increase local farmers’ and agribusiness companies’ access to finance, especially in remote regions of the country.

The EBRD, together with the Albanian government one of the sponsors of the facility, 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.

Agribusiness is a vital sector of Albania’s economy. It provides employment for more than 50 per cent of the population in rural areas and accounts for around 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. However, the sector remains underserviced by financial institutions, with loans to agribusiness accounting for only 2 per cent of total lending to the economy according to ATA agency.

The Albania Agribusiness Support Facility, launched by the EBRD and the government of Albania earlier 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.

EBRD Head of RO in Tirana, Matteo Colangeli welcomed the signing of the Risk Participation Agreement with Société Générale Albania as a significant step in the development of Bank’s facility and Albania’s agribusiness sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale Albania, Frederic Blanc, noted that “program and sector supported by Albanian government is fully in line with our main vision.”
Joined expertise and close cooperation between Societe Generale Albania and EBRD will be the key of success in this program implementation./