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In Romania, the International Finance Corporation has partnered with leasing company UniCredit to provide more climate finance and to boost the energy efficiency sector.

The two institutions aim to increase access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to provide more climate finance across Romania.

The €27.5 million investment will generate jobs, boost energy-efficiency measures, and help reduce carbon emissions.

Access to finance for businesses in Romania is limited and the country has a reduced level of financial intermediation.

IFC’s investment will help bridge this financing gap, with UniCredit directing 60% of it to SMEs and at least 40% to climate-related projects.

UniCredit will also leverage IFC’s investment to implement a new green financing business line and strategy.

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Daniela Bodirca, CEO of the UniCredit Leasing Corporation, said: “Accessing this new line of financing comes as a natural step in the traditional relationship we have with IFC. UniCredit Leasing will use these funds to support the SME segment, but also in financing structures for assets that will lead to reduced emissions and promote green energy production, in line with the broader sustainability strategy of the UniCredit Group.”

Vittorio Di Bello, IFC’s regional head of industry for financial institutions in Europe and Central Asia, adds: “This operation will help diversify the funding mechanisms available for the SME sector, which is an underserved segment in Romania.

“Moreover, it will enable our long-standing client UCLC to build capacity to successfully finance energy-efficiency projects. Clearly, sustainable growth will take new importance as we recover from the current crisis in the region, representing new business opportunities for financial institutions that are best equipped to seize them.”