The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 30 million to Raiffeisen Bank SA, Romania, and EUR 15 million to Raiffeisen Leasing IFN SA, Romania, to finance projects promoted by SMEs, mid-cap companies (250 – 3.000 employees) and municipalities in Romania, a press release informs. EIB funds will co-finance both investment and working capital projects in the areas of industry and services, including tourism, as well as small and medium-scale infrastructure schemes promoted by local authorities. Mihai Tanasescu, EIB Vice-President, commented: “Both EIB loans are designed to reduce the impact of the financial crisis on the SME and mid-cap sectors by improving the availability of long-term finance provided on favourable terms. This will help to strengthen the competitiveness of the Romanian economy.” These loans are in line with the EIB’s priority of strengthening its support for Europe’s SMEs to help mitigate the effects of the financial crisis. SMEs represent the backbone of the economy in Romania, generate a big share of the country’s GDP, and frequently suffer from insufficient access to long-term finance. Also, EIB is lending EUR 15 M to Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Romania and EUR 5 M to Intesa Sanpaolo Leasing Romania IFN SA to finance projects promoted by SMEs, mid-cap companies and municipalities in Romania. These are the first EIB loans provided to Raiffeisen Bank, Raiffeisen Leasing, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Romania and Intesa Sanpaolo Leasing Romania to support indirectly projects of SMEs, mid-cap companies and public sector companies in Romania.