EIB Group invests more than €530 million in Croatia in 2020

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  • The EIB, part of the EIB Group, supports the Croatian economy with €342.5 million; total EIB investments in the country reach €7.06 billion.
  • The EIF, the other arm of the EIB Group, invests record high of €187.9 million. Since 2016, the EIF has invested over €415 million in Croatia.
  • EFSI is expected to mobilise some €771 million in investment in the Croatian economy.

The European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group) provided €530 million in loans, equity and guarantees to clients in Croatia in 2020. The two parts of the EIB Group, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), invested €342.5 million and €187.9 million, respectively, making 2020 a record year for the EIF in Croatia.

The EIF contributed to the local economy to the tune of €187.9 million, making 2020 a record year for the EIF in Croatia. The Fund invested €96 million through equity operations, €90.6 million in guarantees and €1.3 million in inclusive finance.

EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco, who is in charge of operations in Croatia, said: “The EIB Group responded to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and provided vital financial support for Croatian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect jobs and fuel Croatia’s economy. Together with our partners, we have unlocked new sources of financing and helped kick-start the first venture capital funds in Croatia. These activities have modernised Croatian financial markets and reinforced the ability of local financial institutions to fuel economic recovery and development. The EIB looks forward to working with the Croatian government and the public and private sector to unlock the multibillion investment opportunities stemming from an EU-wide COVID-19 recovery, while pursuing climate action and sustainable circular economy initiatives and programmes. We need to ensure that Croatia benefits from these operations as much as possible to recover and continue its sustainable economic and social development.”

Zdravko Marić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the Government of the Republic of Croatia, said: “2020 proved to be a very challenging year for the economy, and the Government, together with our EU and international partners, was quick to react. The EIB Group provided a significant contribution in the response to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia. By providing support to SMEs and Mid-Caps through local financial intermediaries, the EIB helped to address the immediate liquidity needs in time of unprecedented distress. Besides the emergency support, ongoing investment projects were readily supported in order to be able to carry on. As increased uncertainty remains in the period ahead, we are glad to have the EIB Group assisting the recovery as well as addressing long term investment needs. In this respect, the EU Bank has an important role to play in addressing future challenges in Croatia.”

EIB supports Croatian SMEs with 342.5 million

European Investment Bank lending in Croatia reached €342.5 million through six operations signed in 2020 in support of the country’s SMEs. Over 70% of this, or €245.5 million, was provided through cooperation with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), unlocking new sources of financing for SMEs and mid-caps. The remaining €97 million was made available to local companies through Croatian commercial banks. These activities brought total EIB investments in Croatia to €7.06 billion (since the beginning of operations in the country), with €4.97 billion invested in the last decade alone.

New source of finance for Croatian companies as EIF continues to support modernization of the local financial market

Croatian companies, start-ups, SMEs and mid-caps alike will benefit from new venture capital funds launched through EIF cooperation with HBOR. One of these VC funds, Prosperous Growth Fund, started operations in 2020. The fund is one of the three private equity funds supported by a joint €70 million investment from EIF and Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) expected to unlock up to €205 million for development and growth of SMEs and smaller MidCaps.

The joint investment will be managed by the EIF under the guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The Investment stems from Croatian Growth and Investment Programme (CROGIP), launched in 2019 by the EIF and HBOR.

EFSI attracts close to €1 billion to the Croatian economy

Over the past six years, EFSI – a joint initiative of the European Commission and the EIB launched to overcome investment gaps in the European Union, supported close to 1 200 SMEs in Croatia, sustaining approximately 16 500 jobs and mobilising €771 million in investment in the Croatian economy, according to the EIB methodology.

EIB Advisory services help attract € 652 million to Croatia

The EIB Advisory services continued to provide technical and financial advice to public and private partners in the country to create and implement sustainable investment projects and attract new investments in Croatia. The EIB Advisory supported 15 projects in 2020 with total investment cost of € 652 million. Four projects – a railway rolling stock renewal, a solid waste management, a water/wastewater and an E-school project) supported by one of the EIB advisory services, JASPERS, received EC approvals in 2020 worth in total €407million.

Support for the recovery of Croatia’s economy from COVID-19

In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIB distributed some €180 million in Croatia alone to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the local economy. The EIB Group is working with partners in Croatia on repurposing and extending existing SME and mid-cap loans to support the hardest-hit companies.

In partnership with Croatian financial institutions, new operations are being considered to unlock new sources of financing for SMEs and mid-caps operating in key sectors of the Croatian economy.

About the European Investment Bank in Croatia:

Total EIB lending commitments in Croatia since the start of the EU bank’s operations in the country stand at €7.06 billion. The EIB has invested in key sectors of the Croatian economy, including transport, the environment, energy infrastructure, manufacturing and services. A key component of the EU bank’s activity in the country is the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises by increasing their access to long-term financing through local financial institutions.