EFSE enables Mikrofin to finance over 2,000 new MSE loans

EUR 3 million credit facility bolsters Mikrofin's position in MSE sector

Frankfurt and Banja Luka, (PresseBox) - The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) is supporting Mikrofin's micro and small enterprise (MSE) credit business with a EUR 3 million senior loan, significantly strengthening the institution's lending capacity and thus supporting the common goal of providing sustainable funding to MSEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mikrofin, the leading micro credit organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, services more than 45,000 borrowers via a network of 64 branches. Mikrofin focuses on micro entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas, and propose a broad range of credit products, including farming loans, business loans and loans for home improvements.

"Mikrofin has been our partner since 2002 and we are pleased to build on this strong foundation," says Monika Beck, Chairperson of the Board of EFSE. "Mikrofin and EFSE share a common goal of providing quality finance to small scale entrepreneurs and this new loan is another important step in reaching this goal together."

"The EFSE is one of our most significant creditors and the Fund has had a major impact on the development of the MSE sector in our country," says Sandra Lonco, Director at Mikrofin. "We are pleased that our long-term cooperation will continue, as I am sure that this loan will increase our capacity to support micro and small entrepreneurs."

About Mikrofin

Formally established thirteen years ago, Mikrofin always was and still is one of the most important players in the microfinance market in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mikrofin's market share today, in terms of gross loan portfolio, is around 27%. In spite of some difficulties that Mikrofin in particular and the microfinance sector in general have been facing over the last few years, Mikrofin successfully continues to serve low-income entrepreneurs. Mikrofin is the largest MFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina by most important institutional indicators. As at 30 March 2014, Mikrofin had total assets of approximately BAM 180 million (EUR 92.03 million), a gross loan portfolio of BAM 137.2 million (EUR 70.15 million), 44,700 customers, and 65 offices throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mikrofin's long-term goal is to be the premier provider of a full range of financial services to existing and new clients. Consequently, Mikrofin has invested significantly in establishing new subsidiaries, including MF Banka and Mikrofin Insurance.

European Fund for Southeast Europe S.A., SICAV-SIF

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) was initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. It aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey. As access to finance is a key success factor in developing the micro, small and medium enterprise segments, the EFSE focuses on assisting local financial sectors in strengthening their ability to ensure adequate and sustainable financing. The funding the EFSE provides as long-term finance primarily for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) - but also for private households in the form of home improvement loans - is channelled to these loan customers through local partner lending institutions. Supporting the EFSE's investment activities is the EFSE Development Facility, which provides partner lending institutions with technical assistance, consulting and training services to build operational capacities and professional management.

Initiated by KfW Development Bank (KfW) on 15 December 2005 from four multi-donor programs under its management, the EFSE is the first public-private partnership of its kind and the first privately managed fund in development finance to leverage private funding for MSE finance in the target region. Capital is provided by donor agencies, international financial institutions and private institutional investors, including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Commission (EC), the Government of Albania, Small and Medium Business Credit Support CJSC (SMBCS), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Armenia, the Development Bank of Austria (Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank - OeEB), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), KfW as Lead Investor, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Netherlands Finance Company (FMO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Sal. Oppenheim and Deutsche Bank.

Oppenheim Asset Management Services S.à r.l., Luxembourg, and Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, are, respectively, the EFSE's Fund Manager and Fund Advisor.

For more information about the European Fund for Southeast Europe, please visit: http://www.efse.lu/

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