The EBRD is lending Mobiasbanca, the sixth largest private bank in Moldova, US$2mn to help boost the growth of private small and medium-sized enterprises across the country.

Mobiasbanca will use the five-year loan to on-lend long-term financing of up to US$250,000 to entrepreneurs wishing to expand their businesses, or to help support exports of their goods.

Speaking at the signing in Chisinau, Alex Tanase, senior banker at the EBRD, said the loan is important for Moldova’s growing SME sector. Demand for medium to long-term financing from local companies in Moldova is increasing, but lending by local banks is currently restricted to short tenors. This loan will help Mobiasbanca overcome that hurdle by providing long-term financing to its clients.

With foreign investment limited in Moldova, one of the key instruments for promoting economic growth is a strong SME sector. Tanase added that this loan will help Mobiasbanca reach out to more and more entrepreneurs wishing to develop their businesses, helping both the local economy and job creation.

The loan builds on earlier cooperation between the EBRD and Mobiasbanca. The EBRD previously provided Mobiasbanca US$5mn under the EBRD’s micro-lending and trade facilitation programmes, which support the development of the Moldovan private sector and trade to, from and within the EBRD’s countries of operations. The new project is also in line with the EBRD’s latest strategy for Moldova, approved last year, to provide more credit lines to help micro and small businesses.

Established in 1990, Mobiasbanca is a local private bank which is majority owned by foreign investor and specialises in supporting SMEs.