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Bucharest
March 2, 2021
BUSINESS

CEC Bank or Eximbank to turn into development bank

The time effective attraction and usage of European funds is a concern to Romanian authorities, aware that they cannot afford a repeat of the negative experience of the 2007-2013 budget period. Ways must be identified by which the Government could finance with its own funds European projects in advance, after which the beneficiaries will receive the money from the EU. The reason is that the local and EU bureaucracy sometimes leads to long terms for the European financing. A solution could be to have a dedicated Romanian bank for the financing of European projects. The subject was addressed by the Minister of European Funds, Eugen Teodorovici, at a meeting with Romanian mayors. The official noted that one of the two state-owned banks – CEC Bank or Eximbank – would become a development bank \acting as a partner of the state in providing the financing for the implementation of European projects. ‘I have talked to BNR and Finance Ministry and the idea agreed to by the prime minister is to have a development bank. One of our two state-owned banks – CEC Bank or Eximbank – should become a development bank. Such a bank created in that way could be directly used by the state as a partner for the European funds and also in the economy in general’, Teodorovici said. With a market share of over 7 per cent, CEC Bank is the fifth Romanian bank after Raiffeisen Bank (number four) and UniCredit Tiriac Bank (number six). The bank has gradually moved from exclusive retail financing to lending money to SMEs and municipalities. CEC Bank also holds a notable government bonds portfolio. Eximbank is an institution with a special regime, acting both for the state, as an issuer of guarantees, and for itself, by lending to companies. The bank’s initial mission, addressing exclusively to legal entities, was to support exporters, but it has gradually expanded its scope of activity to almost the entire business environment. Teodorovici also said that talks were being held with EIB and EBRD for setting up a financing facility for localities with a population under a certain threshold, to finance the costs of technical documentation to investment itself, with the sums to be paid back after a certain period, according to individual financial capabilities.

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