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EUR 10.5m for SMEs in Albania made possible by the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility – Youth Employment and Raiffeisen Bank

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisen Bank Albania, have signed a guarantee agreement to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Albania, via a Guarantee Facility under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility Guarantee Facility – Youth Employment.The Western Balkans Guarantee Facility agreement aims to facilitate access to finance for SMEs in Albania by providing credit coverage on a EUR 10.5 million portfolio of SME loans with attractive conditions over the next two years. The scope is sustenance of business ideas and innovative solutions in different stages of developing which will help in the contribute in the country progress economic climate.Mr. Christian Canacaris, CEO at Raiffeisen Bank, said: “With this agreement we aim to further strengthen our role and contribute as a socially responsible organization in Albania by supporting the employment of the young Albanians in different economy sectors. The Youth Guarantee Facility will enable us to make more competitive offers for our customers that employee youth Albanians in their companies, by reducing their credit costs and collateral requirements.”The finance provided to Raiffeisen Bank sh.a. has been made possible through the support of the European Union under “the EU for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans”, a pillar of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility”. The EU for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans facility is funded by the European Union under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility”.                                         About the EIFThe European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantee and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives to support innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.About WB EDIF Guarantee Facility – Youth Employment (WB EDIF GF Youth)Building on the successful results of WB EDIF Guarantee Facility and WB EDIF Guarantee Facility II and in parallel with a currently ongoing facility aimed at Serbian SMEs only, a dedicated Youth Employment window is now open to improve access to finance for SMEs in all Western Balkan Beneficiary Economies with a view to support youth employment in the region. WB EDIF GF Youth is a window of the Western Balkans EDIF Guarantee Facility, under which EIF will provide first-loss capped guarantees to selected Financial Intermediaries that build up a portfolio of debt instruments to SMEs established and operational in the Western Balkans region.About Raiffeisen BankRaiffeisen Bank Albania is one of the largest banks in the country. Its asset base is close to 1.85 billion Euro. Raiffeisen Bank International purchased the Albanian Savings Bank back in 2004 and over the last 15 years has completely transformed the old State Bank into a full-service bank serving all sectors of the business and private individual markets. The bank has a product range, processes, systems, and a branch infrastructure that compares favorably with 21st century European standards. Raiffeisen Bank offers the full range of banking products and services in the 4 key business sectors in which it operates - private individuals, micro business, small business and corporate business and servers to more the 778,152 customers.Raiffeisen Bank Albania is the market leader as regards branch network in Albania, with 75 Branches distributed in the majority of cities in the country, specifically in 44 cities. Raiffeisen Bank Albania has currently 182 ATMs, in the entire country and is the market leader for ATMs. Such presence ensures that customers have access to one of our ATMs in different parts of the country, even in certain areas that may be considered distant or remote.In the framework of the continuous digital transformation, Raiffeisen Bank has launched the Digital Banking Platform “Raiffeisen ON”. This platform which is designed for both retail and business customers offers fast and secure banking services through its advanced technology. Being the most innovative digital banking platform in the Raiffeisen ON has more than 169,000 Total users both in retail and business.Our mission is to transform continuous innovation into superior customer experience with the vision to be the most recommended bank in the Albanian market.Press ContactsRaiffeisen Bank: Greta Lekaj
Tel.: +355 4 2275588-2688, E-Mail: