The EBRD is strengthening the provision of leases to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland by extending a loan of up to €70 million to Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy (EFL), the largest leasing company in the country. At least 85 percent of the loan will be denominated in Polish złoty.
The global financial crisis has led to a significant contraction of available funding which is limiting the development and growth of sound businesses in central and eastern European countries, including in Poland.
As a response to the crisis the EBRD is providing capital to financial intermediaries for the benefit of the real economy in its countries of operations.
In this context the loan to EFL is particularly important as the company has an unparalleled outreach to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland with the segment accounting for 97 percent of EFL’s portfolio. The company finances local lessees with local currency and focuses on vehicle, machinery and equipment leasing.
Lucyna Stańczak, EBRD Director for Poland, said: “Through the provision of much-needed funds this loan will have a significant impact on the Polish real economy as it will address liquidity shortages caused by the current crisis. It is very important now that sound and viable businesses can retain access to finance to keep their activities going and prepare the right steps for recovery.”
"Cooperation with such a prestigious institution as the EBRD is a great success for us, confirming the EFL’s stable position on the market and the confidence our company enjoys among international financial institutions. The EBRD funds will enable EFL to fulfil the expectations of entrepreneurs and to commit to the development of their businesses, thus stimulating the economy," said Andrzej Krzemiński, President of EFL.
EFL was established in 1991 and today is fully owned by the French banking group Crédit Agricole. EFL is market leader in Poland with a share of more than 12 percent in 2008 and annual business volume of PLN 3.8 billion (€902 million). An extensive network throughout the country enables EFL to reach the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises also in Poland’s less developed areas outside the largest cities.