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  • EIB and HBOR create a new €142.5 million credit line to support faster recovery of Croatian SMEs from COVID-19
  • The credit line supports SMEs in preserving liquidity, continuing with investments and maintaining jobs and comes as a part of a €400 million package for Croatian SMEs agreed with HBOR

Croatian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from a new €142.5 million credit line agreed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) signed today in Zagreb and Luxembourg. This is the second tranche of a €400 million package for SMEs agreed between the EU bank and HBOR.

The credit line will support companies looking for more affordable financing to preserve liquidity, support investments and maintain jobs, and speed up the national economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of its operations in Croatia, the EIB has supported the country’s economic and social development with investment of €6.71 billion. The EU bank has supported Croatian SMEs by unlocking new sources of finance worth close to €3.75 billion.

EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco, who is responsible for EIB activities in Croatia, said: “The EIB continues to support Croatia in growing and developing faster, this time by making sure SMEs can continue to fuel the national economy’s faster recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very proud of how quickly the EIB and HBOR have provided support in Croatia as this is the second operation signed since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, unlocking more than €240 million in more affordable loans for the country’s SMEs and mid-caps.”

President of the Management Board of HBOR, Tamara Perko, said: “The loan is intended for the provision of affordable loans to small and medium-sized enterprises in need of funds for maintaining liquidity, preserving jobs and further investing for the purpose of ensuring a faster recovery from the consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This contract is further confirmation of our strong cooperation with the EIB and represents an additional source of funding, making it possible to grant loans with favourable terms and conditions and continue reducing interest rates for entrepreneurs who employ people under the age of 30.”

This operation is also a part of the EIB’s Jobs for Youth initiative, under which the Bank extends more favourable terms to companies creating jobs for young people. The initiative tackles youth unemployment as one of the biggest social and economic challenges facing Croatia and Europe alike.

This is the second COVID-19 recovery support package agreed between the EIB and HBOR in Croatia since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. In October, the EIB signed a €100 million loan to speed up the recovery of Croatian SMEs and mid-caps from the pandemic. The two operations alone have created more than €240 million in new sources of financing for SMEs and mid-caps.

The EIB in Croatia

To date, the EIB has supported the economic and social development of Croatia by investing €6.71 billion in operations covering the most important sectors of its economy, including transport, the environment, energy infrastructure, manufacturing and services. Another key component of EIB activities in Croatia is support for SMEs and mid-caps through the creation of long-term financing options in cooperation with local financial institutions. The EIB has supported Croatian SMEs by unlocking new sources of finance worth close to €3.75 billion.