The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 15 million loan to BCR Leasing to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), midcap companies and public entities in Romania implementing projects in industry, services and infrastructure.
BCR Leasing IFN S.A., part of the BCR Group which is majority-owned by the Erste Group is signing a first tranche of EUR 15 million from a total credit line of EUR 75 million agreed with the EIB.
This loan is in line with the EIB’s priority to support Europe’s SMEs, particularly in the difficult current economic environment. To this end, the EIB is joining forces with well-established financing institutions, like BCR Leasing, that know the local market and have SMEs, midcap companies and public entities as their customers.
In particular, SMEs will be supported to purchase, renovate or extend tangible assets (other than land), invest in R&D, build up distribution networks in domestic or other markets within the EU and cover medium and long-term working capital needs to finance their regular trading cycle.
Public sector entities undertaking small and medium-scale infrastructure or sustainable community investments will be eligible for support towards improving public services in the fields of transport, energy, waste, telecommunications, water, health, education and social housing.
Mr Mihai Tanasescu, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for Romania, stated: “EIB funds will be on-lent with the help of a new EIB intermediary – BCR Leasing – in order to facilitate the access of SMEs, midcap companies and municipalities to long-term finance. The new facility will strengthen the EIB’s support to SMEs and midcaps and foster their competitiveness and productivity. Given that they represent the engine of the Romanian economy the operation will have a positive impact on economic growth prospects and job creation”.
Mr Bogdan Speteanu, CEO of BCR Leasing remarked: “Our financing is closely connected to the real economy and the productive sector. We are convinced that the deployment of the financial resources which we are undertaking together with the EIB will help local firms and public utilities to become more efficient, innovative and competitive. We do our best to provide smart financial intermediation aimed at supporting the whole Romanian economy and helping society attain the development levels of the EU.
The EIB loan to BCR Leasing is being granted under the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe, which is focused on providing better access to long-term finance for Europe's SMEs in order to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis.