The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 50 million to Piraeus Bank Romania to finance permanent working capital increases, as well as projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Romania in the areas of industry, services including tourism, agriculture, health, energy, environmental protection and development of a knowledge-based economy.

This loan is designed to support projects promoted by SMEs in Romania, under more accessible and attractive lending conditions. It is also aimed at reducing the impact of the current economic crisis by improving access to medium and long-term funds on advantageous financial terms. To these ends the EIB has also simplified its procedures and is broadening the scope of its financing by also covering intangible types of investment and working capital. In addition, it is increasing transparency by working towards a more effective transfer of the advantage of EIB funds to the final beneficiaries. Each loan under the facility will be subject to complying with the eligibility criteria imposed by EIB.

Eligible projects to be financed have to be implemented by SMEs (with fewer than 250 employees) and by municipalities. To increase the access of SMEs to long-term financing, the EIB closely cooperates with local financial institutions that have local market expertise, like Piraeus Bank Romania, particularly in providing services to businesses through a well-developed network.

Piraeus Bank Group is one of the most dynamic and active financial organizations in Greece, with particular know-how in the areas of retail banking, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), leasing, capital markets and investment banking. Combining business development and social responsibility, Piraeus Bank Group endorses systematically and places special emphasis on its relations with the social, cultural and natural environment. Piraeus Bank Group has an international presence, focused in South-Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, but also in the financial centers of London and New York. At the end of September 2009, its total assets amounted to €52,3 bn with a network of 900 branches in Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, U.K. and  U.S.A.

Background information:

What is the EIB?

The European Investment Bank was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union. The task of the Bank is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States.  The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favorable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives.  The EIB continuously adapts its activity to developments in EU policies.

The EIB:

  • enjoys its own legal personality and financial autonomy within the EU
  • operates following strict banking practice and in close collaboration with the wider banking community, both when borrowing on the capital markets and when financing capital projects.

Who are the shareholders?
The EIB's capital is owned by the 27 member countries of the EU. France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom each have 16.2%, followed by Spain, with just over 9%.

What types of project does it finance?

There are six financing priorities, which are laid down by the shareholders and EU mainly in the following sectors:

1.    convergence and cohesion, involving the poorest regions of the EU
2.    small and medium-sized enterprises
3.    energy
4.    research, development and innovation
5.    infrastructure
6.    environmental protection

Key figures: the EIB in 2008

Total financing operations: 57.6 billion (+21%, compared with 47.8 billion in 2007) of which:

  • EU countries: 51.5 billion
  • Accession countries: 3.4 billion
  • Non-EU countries: 2.7 billion

Total stock of financing operations as at 31 December 2008: 355 billion (+ 9.2%, compared with 324.8 billion in 2007)

Total raised by issuing bonds on the international markets in 2008: 59.5 billion (+ 9%, compared with 54.7 billion in 2007), raised via 247 issues in 18 currencies

Total stock of funds raised as at 31 December 2008: 253 billion (246 billion in 2007)