Financing boosts Romanian local currency leasing market
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is increasing the availability of financing to private businesses in Romania with a RON 132 million (€30 million equivalent) loan to the Bucharest-based Raiffeisen Leasing IFN S.A, a subsidiary of Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI).
This is the EBRD’s first local currency loan to a leasing company in Romania. The funds will be on-lent to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to finance leases of equipment, trucks, trailers and commercial vehicles.
Given the prevalent financial constraints that small businesses face, leasing represents an attractive alternative for local MSMEs to fulfil their investment needs. The EBRD is committed to supporting the development of the leasing market in Romania by building on expertise it has acquired in Romania and in other countries with similar characteristics.
Noel Edison, EBRD Director for Insurance and Financial Services, said: “We are pleased to increase the availability of financing to Romanian businesses through our continued cooperation with Raiffeisen Leasing. Leasing is often the most efficient way for MSMEs to obtain long-term funding for their expansion. By providing this financing in local currency we are also mitigating foreign exchange risks and boosting the RON-denominated leasing market.”
Felix Daniliuc, General Manager at Raiffeisen Leasing in Romania said: “We are very happy to continue our partnership with the EBRD, which has become a reliable partner and a source of constant support for us. This loan will help us to meet rising financing requests from small and medium-sized enterprises and to offer a more diverse product line for our customers. The new financing line in RON completes our existing product range in local currency, dedicated to customers who want to minimise the credit risk and uncertainty associated with a foreign currency loan.”
Raiffeisen Leasing is one of the leading players on the Romanian leasing market, with MSME financing accounting for more than 50 per cent of the company’s portfolio. The company has been an EBRD client since 2003 under the EU/EBRD Leasing Facility. The new loan is the EBRD’s fourth financing deal with Raiffeisen Leasing in Romania, bringing the total amount extended to the company to €80 million.
The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Romania. In 2014 alone, the Bank invested €600 million in the country. To date, the Bank has invested almost €7 billion across 368 projects in Romania. It has also mobilised over €14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.