As of June 15, banks had granted loans to the amount of 4 billion lei under the IMM Invest programme, and this week the one billion euro equivalent mark will be passed, Cristian Paun, chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises SA – IFN (FNGCIMM SA – IFN), said on Wednesday.
“From my point of view, I think the programme is within its parametres. And to give some figures: on Monday, the programme approached 4 billion lei of loans granted. That means we are approaching one billion euros, and I think this week we will also pass the mark. The programme has an approved ceiling of 3 billion euros, so far. So we have already given a billion in a month and a half, together with the banks, for sure,” said Paun at a conference “Romania, Whereto? Economy in the Covid-19 era. Economic Outlook & Digitisation.”
He said the programme, from his point of view, “is good and has a very good unfolding.”
“(…) you can’t approach this programme with any other thought than to take out a loan that you have to give back. Once again, a business should have the resource in the future to repay the funding or pay dividends to shareholders, otherwise the business is certainly unsustainable. But, Romania is too poor to afford to finance unsustainable businesses. We should no longer waste money or let and it run through our fingers. It is a credit programme, lending to the SME sector. It is not financial grants. The money has to be paid back; it is no direct state aid or public funding from the national budget. In other words, it is not the government that gives the money, but the money or the capital comes from the banks ‘area, from savings and is put to work with the help of the banks’ expertise,” said Paun, accprding to Agerpres.
IMM Invest is the largest SME support program in Romania of the last 30 years. The main advantages brought by it are the following: government insures up to 90% of the loan amount, the interest on loans is fully publicly subsidised at least until the end of the year, zero commissions fees related to the government guarantee, zero early repayment penalty, and the guarantee is valid up to 72 months.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said that up-to-date data show that there are more than 4,750 companies whose loan applications have been approved under the IMM Invest Programme.