OREANDA-NEWS. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up its efforts to help Romania overcome the impact of the financial crisis with an EUR 80 million loan to Banca Comerciala Romania (BCR) for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The loan, to be provided in two equal tranches, will support local businesses which are still affected by the global financial crisis. As Romania returns towards a path of more robust growth, it is especially important to improve access to finance for Romanian companies.

BCR will provide financing to SMEs and medium-sized corporates in the form of investment loans, revolving credit facilities, loans for working capital, financing for leasing, factoring and other appropriate financing instruments, with a special focus on the agriculture and agribusiness sectors. Loans to companies will be available in euro or Romanian lei.

BCR is a leading bank which supports the Romanian SME sector to develop viable projects through competitive financing schemes, together with international partners. Since 2000 BCR has financed over 10,000 such projects (either from its own funds or from funds borrowed from international financial institutions), with a total co-financing value of over EUR 1 billion.

The EUR 80 million loan comes under the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe launched in November 2012. The plan is a direct response to the continuing impact of eurozone problems on the economies of emerging Europe and includes total commitments of EUR 30 billion over two years.