The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisen Bank, have signed a COSME agreement that will allow the Bank to provide RON 800,000,000 (ca. EUR 177m) in loans to small and medium-sized Romanian businesses.
Today’s agreement will allow Raiffeisen Bank, to provide SMEs with loans benefiting from reduced collateral requirements, extended maturities and to support start-ups which have a limited access to lending. Around 2,000 Romanian SMEs are expected to benefit from these loans.
This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called “Juncker Plan”.
Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, said: “The Juncker Plan is working to support jobs and spur growth across Europe. Facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses is an important component of the Plan. I am delighted that, with today’s agreement, more Romanian businesses will be able to invest in expansion, job-creation and innovation thanks to the Juncker Plan.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Support for businesses and the creation of jobs, is fundamental for growth in Europe. EIF is committed to supporting SMEs and is pleased to be signing, this EFSI SME agreement with Raiffeisen Bank in Romania. Raiffeisen Bank is well-placed to reach out and enhance access to finance for 2,000 companies across the country.”
Steven van Groningen, President of Raiffeisen Bank, said: “This new partnership will facilitate access to finance of SMEs, under favourable terms – reduced collateral requirements and without any cost attached to the EIF guarantee, while further enhancing the fruitful long-standing cooperation between Raiffeisen Bank and the European Investment Fund. The loans will cover both investment and working capital needs, in order for the SMEs to meet their operational needs, strengthen their competiveness and achieve their strategic objectives.”
The Investment Plan is already expected to mobilise around EUR 743 million in investments in Romania and EUR 178 billion across Europe as a whole.
About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 183 billion in investments and support over 425,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.
In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths.