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EBRD lends €15 mln for Romanian small business development

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend €15 million ($20 million) to Raiffeisen Leasing Romania for the development of small business in Romania – according to bursa.ro.

Jonathan Woollett, Director for EBRD’s Non-Bank Financial Institutions, as the country’s leasing sector grows it is important that entrepreneurs gain sufficient access to finance to meet their demands. This loan to Raiffeisen Leasing, an important partner for the EBRD, will help fill the gap. A healthy leasing industry will assist in bringing more finance to this key sector of the economy.

Raiffeisen Leasing, already a strong supporter of small and medium-sized enterprises in Romania, is growing strongly and currently has a 6.7% market share of the Romanian leasing market. The company aims to maintain or even expand this position going forward. Through a network of 16 branches, Raiffeisen Leasing has the ability to serve local SMEs from all over Romania. Mihaela Mateescu, general manager of Raiffeisen Leasing Romania, pointed out that SMEs represent 68% of the company’s total business portfolio. “We consider it our mission to support the growth of our business partners and to contribute to the development of the most dynamic sector of the Romanian economy. In this the EBRD has always been an important partner for us”, she added.

The new loan to Raiffeisen Leasing is the EBRD’s second leasing deal with the company. In 2003, Raiffeisen Leasing received a first €5 million loan under the EBRD/EU leasing facility to ensure a flexible way for entrepreneurs to obtain and finance goods and services. The EBRD has provided significant finance to the Romanian leasing sector in the past. The Bank has so far extended €274.3 million ($373.8 million) of funding to Romanian SMEs through 10 banks and 6 leasing companies, helping entrepreneurs to start up or expand their businesses. (bursa.ro)