The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 30 million to Raiffeisen Bank SA, Romania, and EUR 15 million to Raiffeisen Leasing IFN SA, Romania, to finance projects promoted by SMEs, mid-cap companies and municipalities in Romania.

EIB funds will co-finance both investment and working capital projects in the areas of industry and services, including tourism, as well as small and medium-scale infrastructure schemes promoted by local authorities.

Mr Mihai Tanasescu, EIB Vice-President, commented: “Both EIB loans are designed to reduce the impact of the financial crisis on the SME and mid-cap sectors by improving the availability of long-term finance provided on favourable terms. This will help to strengthen the competitiveness of the Romanian economy.”

“The loans target SMEs and mid-cap entities, but can be also used for local authorities. Due to the more favourable pricing conditions, the bank will be able to better support its customers in their investment plans or working capital needs. These new loans fully meet Raiffeisen Bank’s strategic objectives and will enable it to fulfil its commitment to facilitate access to programmes that its clients need and to further the development of the Romanian economy” said James Stewart, Vice-President of Raiffeisen Bank Romania.

These loans are in line with the EIB’s priority of strengthening its support for Europe’s SMEs to help mitigate the effects of the financial crisis. SMEs represent the backbone of the economy in Romania, generate a big share of the country’s GDP, and frequently suffer from insufficient access to long-term finance. For this purpose the EIB cooperates with well-established financing institutions in Romania such as Raiffeisen Bank SA, and Raiffeisen Leasing IFN SA, which know the local market and have access to SMEs and municipalities as through a well-developed network.

These are the first EIB loans provided to Raiffeisen Bank and Raiffeisen Leasing to support indirectly projects of SMEs, mid-cap companies and public sector companies in Romania.