Agribusiness in Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from efforts by AS Holding, the country’s largest company in the sector, to optimise and expand its operations with support from the EBRD.
The Bank is providing a €2 million loan to AS Logistics, a newly established subsidiary of AS Holding, to support its development, including investments in AS Logistics’ distribution centre in Tuzla, the purchase of new software, equipment and transport vehicles.
In addition, AS Logistics will implement an ISO certified Road Traffic Safety Management System to improve the safety and sustainability of the company’s operations which the investment programme will consolidate and optimise. It will also improve efficiency in order to create opportunities for further sustainable growth.
Charlotte Ruhe, EBRD Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe, said: “We are delighted to sign this transaction with AS Holding today and contribute to the further growth of the company with our financing. We have witnessed AS Holding’s development in recent years and are happy to contribute with our financing to the company’s further ambitions.”
Rusmir Hrvić, CEO of AS Holding, added: “The start of our partnership with the EBRD, one of the leading international financial institutions, represents a significant milestone for AS Holding and the companies of our group. It is evidence of our quality and standards, which are in compliance with the EBRD’s strict requirements. I hope that the cooperation we are signing today is the beginning of a success story for years to come.”
AS Holding is a diversified agribusiness group, engaged in the production of food, including flour, bread, coffee, confectionery products, convenience foods, bottled water, and salt, which are sold locally and internationally. As of 2018, the group had around 4,500 employees and annual sales of €145 million.
The market for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains attractive, driven by economic growth, rising disposable incomes, improvements in the availability and variety of packaged food products and the expansion of retail space.
The EBRD has been a continuous supporter of agribusiness in the country from the start of its operations there in 1996. To date, the EBRD has invested €2.5 billion in 171 projects in all sectors of the country’s economy. Boosted by the EBRD’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Sarajevo in May, the Bank has registered a new record result for Bosnia and Herzegovina, with investments of €315 million in 20 projects last year alone.