The EBRD and Mobiasbanca are intensifying their cooperation with a new US$6mn loan provided to Moldova’s fifth largest commercial bank. Some US$3mn of the loan will come from the EBRD, while the second US$3mn portion will be provided by the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).

This project will be the first syndicated loan organised by the EBRD in Moldova.

SMEs play a crucial role in Moldova’s economy. However, their development has been hampered among others by weaknesses by limited access to finance. The EBRD’s loan to Mobiasbanca is expected to improve this situation.

The funding will allow Mobiasbanca to expand its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. Mobiasbanca is market leader in Moldova’s SME and retail market with a wide range of products and services. The bank is continuously expanding its branch network as well as its product range in order to attract new clients especially in the retail sector.

The EBRD and Mobiasbanca have been partners since 1996, when the Moldovan bank received a first US$1mn credit line to support micro and small enterprises. In 2002, Mobiasbanca became an issuing bank under the EBRD’s Trade Finance Facilitation programme, which promotes trade to, from and within the EBRD region from central Europe to central Asia. Cooperation has been further extended in 2004 and 2005 to the areas of SME finance and risk-sharing for larger corporate loans.

Michael Davey, EBRD director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, says the loan will support the development of Mobiasbanca, one of the best performing and fastest growing banks in Moldova and one that is committed to transparency and good corporate governance. EBRD’s financing will help Mobiasbanca develop its SME portfolio further and thus benefit the country’s economy overall.

Nicolae Dorin, chairman of Mobiasbanca Administrative Board, says this second SME credit line comes as a “logical extension of our cooperation with the EBRD after the success of the first SME line in 2004 and other existing programmes. We highly appreciate our strategic partnership with the EBRD, especially in the SME sector. Mobiasbanca has always been committed to satisfy the growing financial needs of SME customers. Thanks to our cooperation with the EBRD our clients can always rely on Mobiasbanca’s long and short term funding to support their development”.