EIB and HBOR sign €50m loans to finance Croatian mid-caps companies
The EIF operations provided guarantees for €350 million in loans, and today’s agreement with HBOR puts the total amount of loans guaranteed by the EGF in Croatia to €513 million.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) have signed the Guarantee Agreement in the amount of €50 million for loans taken by Croatian mid-caps and large corporations to finance their recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EIB contribution stems from the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) set up by the EIB Group in 2020 to accelerate the post-COVID-19 recovery of the European economy, safeguard jobs, and provide much-needed liquidity to European companies.
This is the first EIB operation in Croatia stemming from the European Guarantee Fund, and the fourth for the EIB Group, following three EGF operations implemented by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The EIF operations provided guarantees for €350 million in loans, and today's agreement with HBOR puts the total amount of loans guaranteed by the EGF in Croatia to €513 million.
Teresa Czerwinska, Vice-President of the EIB, who is in charge of Croatia, said: "EIB-HBOR agreement is good news for Croatian economy and local mid-caps and large corporations. It brings further economic relief crucial for faster recovery of COVID-19, preservation of jobs and incomes and general competitiveness of Croatian companies. Our operation extends the EGF support from SMEs to Mid-Caps and large companies ensuring the recovery support is available to all who need it. I am enormously proud to see that EIB and HBOR continue to deliver effective, timely and hands-on solutions to major economic and social challenges faced by Croatia and the EU, including recovery from COVID-19 as the major challenge of today."
Tamara Perko, President of the Management Board of HBOR said: "This Guarantee Agreement will enable HBOR to approve loans with lower collateral requirements to mid-caps and large companies, which we have already been able to offer to SMEs and small mid-caps following the conclusion of the Guarantee Agreement with the EIF. These benefits will be available for direct working capital loans and investment loans to mid-caps under the existing HBOR's loan programmes. It is our pleasure that the EIB has recognised HBOR as its first partner for cooperating under this programme in Croatia, which makes it possible to us to offer further benefits to our entrepreneurs irrespective of their size."
EGF already at half of its 2021 target
The (EGF) has approved funding amounting to almost half its target for 2021. After clearance under the EU state aid notification process in December 2020, the initiative has now approved €11.7 billion in support of European businesses struggling with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is almost half the fund's target for 2021.
The fund mobilises additional financing, and initiatives approved so far are expected to generate EUR 93.9 billion in funding and investments for the EU economy. Demand for EGF financing is strong, and further approvals and signatures are expected to rapidly bring the EGF well beyond 50% of its target by early summer.