The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching a dedicated research programme in support of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in selected countries where the Bank invests. Funded by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund, the programme will provide research coverage for a set of SMEs listed on the stock exchanges in Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The reports will be publicly available free of charge on the newly created Listed SME Research Hub.
The aim is to produce free, publicly available, high-quality research reports to overcome information barriers that depress market liquidity. Making markets more transparent by increasing the amount of reliable information is regarded as key to increasing the availability of financing for SMEs.
The two-year research programme will be conducted by WOOD & Company, an investment bank specialising in emerging markets. The programme is fully aligned with the objectives of the European Commission’s Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, which specifically mentions improving access to finance, including risk capital, notably for SMEs as one of the five priority areas.
The following companies are participants in the programme:
Bulgaria: Gradus AD, Monbat, Sirma Group Holding JSC, Sopharma AD.
Croatia: AD PLASTIK d.d., Arena Hospitality Group d.d., Ilirija Resort, Zagreb Stock Exchange.
North Macedonia: Alkaloid AD Skopje, Komercijalna banka AD, NLB Banka AD.
Romania: BittNet, Conpet SA, Patria Bank, Teraplast.
Serbia: Fintel Energija ad.
Slovenia: Pozavarovalnica Sava RE.
Four reports were published at the launch of the programme today, with the remainder to follow in the months ahead. At least five reports per company will be produced during the project period.
Manyu Moravenov, Chief Executive Officer, Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) comments: We see enormous potential for the Bulgarian SMEs and we are glad that four companies will be part of this very important programme. It is a great opportunity to get more visibility, attract investors and develop European business horizons for the selected ambitious SMEs.
Hannes Takacs, Acting Co-Head, Local Currency and Capital Markets Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD): We are very proud to make an important contribution to putting the financing of vital SMEs on broader foundations based on this project. It proves that knowledge is indeed power. SMEs are crucial for the well-being of Europe’s economy and in the current coronavirus pandemic it is more important than ever to secure their funding.