Romania: EUR 540 million available for SMEs
The SME Initiative is managed by the EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund), the Government of Romania and the European Commission.
The agreements with the five banks aim to facilitate access to finance for Romanian SMEs by providing a 60% guarantee on each loan and by lowering the interest rates charged by banks.
These transactions with Raiffeisen Bank, ProCredit Bank Romania, Banca Comerciala Romana, Banca Transilvania and BancPost are expected to benefit around 3,700 SMEs and start-ups in need of finance.
The SME Initiative entails an innovative change in the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds), combining the latter with EU central budget (resources from the Horizon 2020 Programme) and EIB Group funds.
Romania is contributing EUR 100 million from its European Regional Development Fund envelope to this EU initiative, which, together with resources from the EIB Group and the Horizon 2020 programme, will be leveraged with commercial lending through a risk-sharing mechanism.
This will result in more SMEs benefiting from European resources on advantageous terms, such as reduced interest rates and improved collateral requirements.
This financial instrument will act as a catalyst for private investment and foster job creation within the SME community. ■