Supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a strategic priority for EximBank this year, as the bank has enough funds to answer the demands of companies in need of financing, guarantees or insurances, according to Ionut Costea, President of EximBank.
“For most investors, EximBank is still synonymous with the bank of exporters, which is only partly correct today. Market segmentation and identifying the needs of new potential customers have meanwhile resulted in reassessing the activity object – a move that significantly expanded the addressability range of our banking products. As a consequence, EximBank can support any type of company – small, medium or large enterprise – no matter if it is an exporter or not. This year, we focus on supporting SMEs – the main engine of any economy,” the EximBank official stated.
The bank has a wide range of products aimed at SMEs, which includes standard products provided by all commercial banks, and – most importantly – products that include a state aid component.
“The category of products with a state aid component includes loans with subsidised interest, which are products approved by the European Commission that allow us to subsidise up to 5 pc of the interest of investment loans denominated in RON. It is a very important incentive in terms of subsidised interest, and also due to the fact that the interest is fixed during the whole crediting period. Only few banks in the market can afford granting fixed-interest loans, and this incentive allows SMEs to have a very clear cash-flow for the company,” Ionut Costea added.
The category of loans with subsidised interest includes:
– the development loan for SMEs – up to EUR 1.5 M (RON equivalent) that can be granted for 10 years at most;
– the working capital loan – aimed at financing current operations, it can reach a maximum EUR 300,000 (RON equivalent), for 12 months at most;
– the micro-loan for SMEs – aimed at financing investment projects and/or current operations, it can oscillate between EUR 10,000 and EUR 35,000;
– the flexible investment loan for SMEs – aimed at financing investment projects, it can reach a maximum EUR 1 M (RON equivalent);
– the loan for women entrepreneurs – aimed at SMEs where women are either majority shareholders, or they simultaneously hold the positions of manager and minority shareholder; it can be used for investments or the financing of current operations; the maximum amount of such a loan is EUR 100,000 (RON equivalent).
Another incentive extended by EximBank upon SMEs is the partial compensation of interests – a product that allows any company to recover up to 50 pc of the interest of investment loans in RON, taken from any other commercial bank.
“Maybe the most important of our products is represented by state guarantees, which allow us to support companies that need loans, but do not have enough collaterals. EximBank can guarantee up to 80 pc of the loan that a company plans to take from any other commercial bank. We simplified the procedures of extending these incentives, so today we are able to answer within a maximum 10 days from the moment when complete documentation is submitted, in the case of state guarantees up to EUR 1.5 M,” Ionut Costea added.
The effects of this decision were not late to appear, as the number of commercial banks and companies that resort to EximBank is on a constant increase. Data for 2010 show an increase of the portfolio of loans and guarantees by nearly 15 pc, against 2009. The strongest growth was registered by guarantees, which soared at four times the volume of 2008. Further information about the products of EximBank is available on www.eximbank.ro.