The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved more than EUR 13 billion worth of financing and advisory services for Romania since it started its operations in the country 25 years ago, as a press release informs. EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell and Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose today marked the 25th anniversary of the approval of the first ever EIB operation in Romania and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the EIB Group Office in Bucharest, and discussed future cooperation between the EIB Group and Romania.
The biggest share of EIB Group lending in Romania (42 percent, or EUR 5.4 billion) has gone to the transport sector. It targeted the rehabilitation and modernisation of railway, road and motorway networks as well as sustainable urban transport, i.e. the Bucharest metro. The second biggest share went to long-term financing for SMEs and midcaps (21 percent or EUR 2 billion), followed by energy projects (8 percent or EUR 1 billion). These include the construction of the Fantanele Wind Farm (EUR 200 million) and a gas power plant close to Ploiesti (EUR 200 million). The EIB also approved EUR 480 million for the improvement of energy efficiency in residential buildings in Bucharest. Finally, EUR 143 million went to the rehabilitation of elementary and pre-university schools across the country.
Romania is the biggest recipient of EIB Group financing in the south-east of the EU, followed by Croatia and Bulgaria, with some EUR 5 billion each.
Today’s event was not only about celebrating past achievements, but also to sign new operations: the European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group, signed three additional SME Initiative guarantee transactions with BRD-Groupe Société Générale, with ING Bank (Bucharest Branch) and Libra Internet Bank acting as partners. The agreements with the three banks aim to facilitate access to finance for Romanian SMEs by providing a 60 percent guarantee on each loan and by lowering the interest rates charged by banks. These transactions are expected to benefit around 300 SMEs and start-ups in need of finance.
In addition, the EIB signed a first loan denominated in RON with ProCredit Bank, amounting to approximately RON 90 million (EUR 20 million), dedicated mainly to investments for SMEs and midcaps, marking an important milestone for the EIB Group in supporting the Romanian economy through its local banking sector partners. More than 250 SMEs and midcaps are expected to be reached through this long-term RON denominated lending.
At the same time the EIB provided a EUR 7.5 million loan to GreenFiber International SA to finance a recycling and circular economy project. This operation is backed by the EFSI as well. The project will contribute to the creation of 280 full-time jobs and will increase the amount of waste collected and processed by over 50,000 tonnes per year.