• Croatia’s national promotional bank HBOR and the EIB will jointly provide up to €500 million to SMEs, mid-caps and public-sector entities, with 20% earmarked for green projects.
  • HBOR will on-lend EIB financing to beneficiaries directly, or through local financial intermediaries, with 70% of the total aimed at SMEs and mid-caps in the country.
  • The entire facility is expected to further EU Cohesion Policy objectives, and will support green projects in line with the EIB’s climate goals.

A new agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvitak (HBOR, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development) will make half a billion euros available to Croatian SMEs, mid-caps and public-sector entities. The parties have already signed the first tranche for €200 million, most of which will support the country’s SMEs and mid-caps. The agreement will help HBOR to absorb EU grants and structural funds, among other assistance, and is expected to mobilise up to €1 billion of investments in the Croatian economy.

“HBOR is the leading provider of green financing in Croatia, which is a key priority for the EIB under its Climate Bank Roadmap policy,” stated EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska. “We appreciate HBOR’s recent progress in this field, especially regarding their environmental and social management systems and standards, and we are comfortable delegating green financing decisions to them. We are also considering providing free advisory support to back the institution in consolidating its role as leading green financier on the Croatian market.”

“I am delighted that we have signed another contract with the EIB, the leading financial institution in sustainable financing. Through our long-standing cooperation, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development has actively integrated knowledge and experience gained from the EIB. I am pleased that the efforts invested by our management and employees in acquiring new knowledge have led to a genuine transformation of HBOR into a leader in financing environmentally focused projects, building trust with the EIB. The funds under this contract will encourage the development of SMEs, mid-caps and public institutions, aiding the European Union’s transition towards carbon neutrality. This contract reaffirms HBOR’s role as a leading institution in Croatia for financing green projects,” said Hrvoje Čuvalo, President of HBOR’s Management Board.

The EIB and HBOR have agreed that 70% of the facility will target SMEs and mid-caps, with the rest slated to support organisations in the country’s public sector and other beneficiaries. Some 20% of the total is earmarked for green projects, including in sectors like energy efficiency and clean energy production, sustainable transport and environmental protection, in line with the EIB Group’s Climate Bank Roadmap policy.

Background information

The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It finances sound investment to pursue EU policy goals. Over the last five years, the EIB has financed over €1.6 billion worth of projects in Croatia.

In September this year a new equity investment programme in line with Croatia’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026 was launched by the European Investment Fund, an EIB subsidiary.

HBOR is the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Croatia’s national promotional bank. It is tasked with promoting Croatia’s economic development by granting loans, insuring export transactions against political and commercial risks, issuing guarantees, investing in equity through private equity funds and providing business advice.