EBRD and BCR step up support for Romanian small businesses

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD is boosting its support for the Romanian economy with a credit line of €100 million granted to BCR for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The investment is a continuation of the EBRD’s broad response to the difficult economic environment throughout the countries where it operates and it follows a similar loan to bolster the small business sector in Romania made in December 2008.

Varel Freeman, First Vice-President of the EBRD, said: “The EBRD has a long history of working together with BCR. This loan is an important step in continuing lending to the private SME sector in Romania. Also, it is part of our crisis response and of co-ordinated efforts with the other IFIs to stimulate the Romanian economy in these exceptional global circumstances”.

Dominic Bruynseels, BCR’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our aim is to help SME’s with further funding. BCR is financing all good businesses viable on longer term. This transaction will strengthen and diversify our funding base. The EBRD is an important long-term partner for BCR in Romania for the benefit of the Romanian companies and the economy”.

The EBRD credit line is dedicated to financing companies with a maximum of up to 249 employees, turnover of up to €50 million and balance sheet of maximum €43 million. Individual sub-loans in the framework of this credit line will be for no more that €1.5 million.

As a direct reaction to the global crisis, the EBRD has announced a significant increase in its overall investments in 2009 to €7 billion. The BCR transaction comes in the context of the Joint International Financial Institutions (IFI) Action Plan, under which the EBRD joined forces with the World Bank Group and the European Investment Bank with the aim of investing a total of €24.5 billion in SMEs via the banking sectors in Eastern Europe over the next two years.

The EBRD will increase its investments to the country by an additional €500 million to €1 billion over the next two years as part of an international €20 billion financial support package. Approximately half of this amount will be dedicated to the financial sector, and the rest invested across the broader economy, including in the corporate, energy and energy efficiency and national and municipal infrastructure sectors.
BCR is also in discussions with the other IFIs on additional possibilities to support its lending to the real economy, particularly to the SME sector.

The Financing Agreement was signed on 30th March in Bucharest.

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