Today, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced its approval of two intermediate loans to the government of Romania, to support the projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EIB will specifically grant, EUR 80 million to Bancpost S.A. and EUR 60 million to EFG Leasing IFN S.A.

One of the EIB’s main tenets “is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States by financing sound investment.” The EIB typically funds projects implemented by SMEs, through credit lines it has established with financial institutions. EIB loans to SMEs “are aimed at reducing the impact of the current economic crisis by improving access to medium and long-term funds on advantageous financial terms.” The EIB closely works and cooperates with local financial institutions to increase the access of SMEs to long-term financing. In light of the on-going financial crisis, in order to facilitate liquidity for SMEs, the EIB “has 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.”

The loans provided by the EIB to Bancpost Romania and EFG Leasing Romania will help finance generally “small and medium-scale projects promoted by SMEs in various sectors of industry, agriculture, tourism and services.” This will be the second intermediate loan provided by the EIB to Bancpost, and the EIB’s third operation in Romania with a financial institution specializing in the leasing sector with respect to its loan to EFG Leasing Romania. Within the framework of the EIB’s loan to EFG Leasing Romania, the institution “will also benefit from the SME Finance Facility, a special grant scheme promoted by the European Commission focused on further developing strong and competitive small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania, providing the EIB’s partner financial institutions with incentives to lend to SMEs.”

Since 1990, the EIB has entered into loan contracts with Romania amounting to approximately EUR 6.6 billion (of which some EUR 530 million, including the current loans, has supported SMEs and other municipality projects).