The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is providing a €15 million loan to Libra Internet Bank, its newest partner lender in Romania, to increase its support for the development of local small businesses.
The funds will be used by Libra Internet Bank to finance local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs are a crucial sector of Romania’s economy in terms of wealth and job creation, and access to finance remains a key obstacle for their development and growth, according to the EBRD.
Libra Internet Bank Romania was founded in 1996 and is controlled by the American investment group New Century Holdings. The bank provides a broad range of products and services with a main focus on SMEs, corporates, agribusiness and professionals.
Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said: “Improving access to finance for Romanian micro and small businesses remains a key priority for the EBRD’s work in the country. We are looking forward to the results of this loan as we are aiming to increase the support we provide to local private entrepreneurs in the near future.”
Lucyna Stańczak-Wuczyńska, EBRD Director for EU Banks, added: “The loan will support Libra Internet Bank to grow its business by expanding its outreach to new clients. We are confident this project will become a good example how an innovative bank meets the demands of innovative enterprises for the creation of real value.”
Emil Bituleanu, Libra Internet Bank General Director, said: “We are confident in successfully running our first agreement with the EBRD. It represents a continuation of our efforts to develop innovative and affordable financing products for our clients.”
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Romania. It supported 29 projects with €546 million of debt and equity investments last year. Of this financing, 93 per cent was provided to the country’s private sector.