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EIF and leading Romanian banks join forces to empower SMEs for sustainable growth

    Date: 25 October 2023
  • European Investment Fund guarantees to facilitate up to €1 billion in financing that will support small businesses
  • InvestEU Member State Compartment in Romania is driving the country's sustainable economic transformation
  • Agreements pave way for improved financing terms for SMEs, such as lower interest rates

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed agreements with five banks to support Romania's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The series of uncapped direct guarantees totalling €1 billion is backed by the InvestEU Member State Compartment in Romania and the Recovery and Resilience Facility Romania (RRF RO) and represents an ambitious venture aimed at enhancing sustainability and competitiveness for businesses across the country.

The banks, Banca Comerciala Romana, Banca Transilvania, CEC Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and ProCredit Bank are well-known EIF partners, having successfully implemented various EIF mandates in the past, such as the SME Initiative Romania (Initiativa pentru IMM-uri).

Thanks to the Sustainability Guarantee the partner banks will be able to further support a green and sustainable transformation of the economy, and finance environmentally-friendly, green and inclusive investments of the end beneficiaries. The SME Competitiveness Guarantee will enable the partner banks to facilitate access to finance for a broader spectrum of companies and industries, with loan terms which would not be offered in the absence of the guarantee.

“We've been working hard with the Romanian government and the European Commission to make sure that Romanian businesses can get the support that they need during these difficult times. Today's five agreements will translate those efforts into real access to finance on the ground, helping SMEs pursue their growth ambitions, driving economic progress and fostering a greener future,” said EIF Deputy Chief Executive Roger Havenith.

With financing available in both RON and EUR, this endeavour will bolster cohesion regions in Romania, fostering business growth and expansion, supporting value chains, sustainable infrastructure products and services, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and clean transport, while propping up the Romanian financial ecosystem.

The EIF guarantee enables its partner banks to offer improved financing terms such as lower interest rates, reduced collateral requirements and reduced down-payment requirements for investment loans. Moreover, thanks to the EIF guarantee, banks can offer longer maturities and increased financing volumes and support excluded segments such as start-ups, which would not have been targeted without the guarantee.

The uncapped direct guarantees are part of the InvestEU portfolio guarantee products under the InvestEU Member State Compartment in Romania. Funded through Romania's Recovery and Resilience Fund, this initiative comprises two vital components: the RRF RO SME Competitiveness Guarantee and the RRF RO Sustainability Guarantee. These programmes are pivotal in advancing Romanian businesses' competitiveness and steering the nation towards sustainable economic growth.

Background information                                     

About the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the EIB Group. It supports Europe’s small businesses by improving their access to finance through a wide range of selected financial intermediaries, such as banks, guarantee and leasing companies, micro-credit providers and private equity funds. The EIF designs and offers equity and debt financing instruments fostering EU objectives in support of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, the green and digital transitions and employment.

In Romania, the EIB Group delivers between €1 and 1.5 billion every year. Since its inception, the EIF has provided financing worth €3.1 billion through 119 contracts in Romania, while the EIB has provided finance and expertise for 179 investment projects in Romania since 1991, worth € 17.73 billion.

About the InvestEU Member State Compartment

The InvestEU Member State Compartment enables the Member States to contribute part of their shared management funds, resources from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and national resources to the InvestEU Fund by setting up a dedicated Member State Compartment. With this voluntary contribution, Member States can leverage on the InvestEU guarantee to support specific national priorities. Under the Member State Compartment, loans, guarantees or equity investments can be offered as a complement to other public and private investments.

Press contacts

Daniel Kozak, d.kozak@ext.eib.org, tel.: +352 4379 70905
Website: www.eib.org/press — Press Office: +352 4379 21000 — press@eib.org  

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