$4 million credit line to Victoriabank (VB). The proceeds of the credit line will be used to provide medium-term foreign currency loans to private Moldovan small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) mainly for financing investment purposes and working capital.
The credit line to VB is an important continuation of the EBRD's financial involvement in the Moldovan banking sector, which has been significantly strengthened and improved through equity investments, implementations of micro-lending programs, SME credit lines, and Trade Facilitation Programs to various banks. Currently the main transition challenges will be deepening the financial intermediation, which is still very low with a loan to GDP ratio of 17%, and improving access to long-term finance for the real economy.
Thus, the main transition impact of the project consists of enhancing the ability of one of the largest private banks in Moldova to meet the increased demand for medium-term funding from domestic private SMEs. The credit line will aim to reach new clients and extend loan maturities, while not endangering the overall loan portfolio of Victoriabank.
VB was the first private bank established in Moldova in 1990. During the last 13 years VB has developed into the second largest bank in the country in terms of total assets, lending activities and deposit volume with current market shares of approximately 15%, 13%, and 17% respectively. Since 1995, VB has a general banking licence and provides a full range of banking services.
VB's growth has been supported by the EBRD since 1995 through two SME credit lines of $4 million each, an equity participation of around $0.7 million, Swiss-American Micro-Enterprise Programme funding of $1 million and Trade Facilitation Programme finance of up to $2.5 million.
Unsecured senior loan of $4 million extended for a period of 5 years.
VB has demonstrated full compliance with EBRD's environmental requirements within the existing operations. VB will be required to comply with EBRD's Environmental Procedures for Intermediated Finance through Local Banks as revised in 2003, including compliance with applicable national environmental, health and safety requirements, adherence to the Environmental Exclusion and Referral List and submission of annual environmental reports to the Bank.
VB has already benefited from extensive technical cooperation (TC) financed by the Bank from 1995 to 1999. No additional TC funds are envisaged in support of this project.
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