Investment Plan for Europe: First InnovFin EFSI deal in Croatia to provide HRK 150 million for SMEs as EIF and HBOR sign new agreement

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvitak (HBOR), have signed the first InnovFin SME agreement in Croatia, benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The InnovFin agreement will enable HBOR to provide guarantees on bank loans to innovative companies in Croatia over the next 2 years with the support of a guarantee provided by the EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The EU support for innovative Croatian companies is expected to generate a portfolio of EUR 20m (c. HRK 150m) loans.

European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica said: “Small companies in Croatia are in great need of financing to grow their businesses and create jobs. The agreement signed today by the EIF and HBOR with the support of the Investment Plan will help SMEs access HRK 150 million of fresh loans. I also encourage those companies in need of investment to use the Advisory Hub to get technical support and the new Project Portal to advertise their projects.”

Commenting on the signature, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith said: “HBOR is Croatia’s largest promotional institution and perfectly placed to target innovative companies who will benefit from this EU support. This is the first EFSI transaction in Croatia and we expect to sign additional deals in the country over the next few months. HBOR is one of EIF’s long-standing partners and we are confident that with the InnovFin SME guarantee they will channel finance to Croatian SMEs and small mid-caps”.

President of HBOR’s Management Board, Dusan Tomasevic said: “We would like to thank to the EIF for recognising HBOR as a partner in the implementation of this instrument. The agreement we signed today will enable the offering of even more favourable terms and conditions to small and medium-sized enterprises as well as small and medium-capitalised companies under HBOR’s existing loan programmes. This instrument will be available to entrepreneurs this autumn, and we expect it to attract big interest from entrepreneurs in funds provided under this instrument. “

The deal signed today in Croatia reflects the EU’s commitment to rapidly launch concrete initiatives under the EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. More information on the EIF’s work under the EFSI is available here.

About HBOR

Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvitak is the development and export bank of the Republic of Croatia with the main task of promoting the development of the Croatian economy. In its operations, and within the framework of its powers and authorisations, HBOR promotes systematic, sustainable and balanced economic and social development pursuant to the overall strategic goals of the Republic of Croatia. More information on the HBOR’s work is available here.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that by April 2016, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered more than €80 billion of investment in Europe.

Find out the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between €25,000 and €7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by the EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by the EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 24 85 81 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

HBOR: Koraljka Perutka Fabijanić
Tel.:+385 1 45 91 791, e-mail: kperutka@hbor.hr

European Commission: Siobhán Millbright 
Tel.:+ 32 (0)2 29 5736, e-mail: Siobhan.millbright@ec.europa.eu