The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to lend €30m to BCR Leasing, a member company of Banca Comerciala Romana Group.

The investment is aimed at supporting the provider’s funding of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), middle capitalisation companies and public entities in Romania’s industry, services and infrastructure sectors.

The investment constitutes the second instalment of a €75m loan approved by the EIB and follows the successful disbursement of €15m to BCR earlier this year.

The loan is part of a wider strategy of support for European SMEs, according to the EIB.

By providing for both medium and long-term capital needs, it hopes to enable investments towards tangible equipment and assets, research and development and the strengthening of distribution networks across the EU’s markets.

The public sector will also be eligible for support if they are implementing small and medium-scale infrastructure or sustainable community investments to improve public services in transport, energy, waste, telecommunications, water, health, social housing and education.

Policy objectives
Mihai Tanasescu, vice-president responsible for Romania at the EIB, described the financing of projects in the SME and midcap sectors as "a key policy objective" for the EIB in the country, and said: "the SME and midcap sector represents the engine of growth, innovation and creation of new employment."

"In its cooperation with BCR Leasing, a well-established partner financing institution, the EIB ensures that the benefits of its involvement, i.e. the favourable terms of its lending, reach the final beneficiaries," he added.

Granted as part of the Joint International Financial Institution (IFI) Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe, the EIB’s loan to BCR Leasing proves IFIs’ continued support of convergence efforts, SME access to finance, competitiveness, energy efficiency and security, explained the bank.

Bogdan Speteanu, chief executive officer of BCR Leasing, added: "SMEs in particular account for almost two thirds of Romania’s GDP. Their entrepreneurial initiative, production output and capital formation are vital to sustainable economic growth.