EBRD steps up support for leasing in Croatia;
€10 million EBRD loan for Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia
ZAGREB, 21. February 2008. –To support the expansion of leasing to small and medium size enterprises in Croatia the EBRD is providing a €10 million loan to Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia under the EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility. The financing will be complemented by more than €925,000 from the European Commission for technical assistance, training of SME leasing officers and financial incentives.
This loan is expected to follow the success of the first €10 million credit line provided by the EBRD to Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia in March 2006.
The Croatian leasing market is characterised by strong growth and leasing to SMEs has become a particularly important form of financing as availability of bank financing to micro companies is restricted.
Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia is the third largest leasing company with a market share of 8 per cent. The company has been focusing on car and equipment leasing and will use the second EBRD´s loan to broaden its activities by expanding into eastern Slavonia and the Croatian coast through branches outside the capital.
The EBRD credit line will be exclusively used for the financing of leases to micro and small enterprises with leases not exceeding €30,000 and €125,000 respectively.
Peter Reiniger, EBRD Business Group Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said the loan will contribute to make financing more accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises, which is essential for the development of the local economy. At the same time it will help Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia to enter the smaller and micro segment of SME leasing outside the Croatian capital and diversify its funding base.
Miljenko Tumpa, Chairman of the Raiffeisen Leasing Management Board in Croatia, is pleased with the fact that EBRD and the EU have recognized the quality of Raiffeisen Leasing and that they have chosen Raiffeisen Leasing as a partner in this programme for the second time. "The cooperation so far has been more than successful and it has helped us increase the volume of financing, through which we were able to make contribution to a more effective development of the Croatian economy, Mr Tumpa said.
The EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility is a joint programme of the European Commission and the EBRD, supporting the development and growth of entrepreneurs as well as small and medium size companies by facilitating their access to finance. Under this regional programme covering 11 countries, the EBRD has committed EUR 1,166.5 million to date, supported by EUR 154.39 million in grant financing and technical assistance from the EC since the launch of the programme in 1999. The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies from central Europe to central Asia.
Established in October 1999, Raiffeisen Leasing d.o.o. is equally owned by Raiffeisen-Leasing International GmbH and Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d. It currently employs 94 people and has branches throughout 9 Croatian cities. Raiffeisen Leasing is amongst leading leasing companies on Croatian market and covers all major sectors of economy. Its portfolio mainly consists of a car leasing (passenger and business), while financing of equipment and boats as well as real estate leasing gain more market.
Raiffeisen-Leasing International GmbH, located in Vienna, is a holding company of leasing units in Central and Eastern Europe. It is 75 per cent owned by Raiffeisen International and 25 per cent owned by Raiffeisen Leasing GmbH, Vienna.
The Raiffeisen CEE Leasing network currently covers 16 countries, after the leasing subsidiary in Moldova commenced business operations in December 2007, in Central and Eastern Europe. Generally, most of the units are established as universal leasing companies providing the whole range of leasing products – vehicle, equipment and real estate leasing. All leasing companies act independently from suppliers by offering tailor-made leasing and vendor solutions as well as financing typical standard products. More than 1,300 people were employed as at 30 June 2007. New business developed rigorously, increasing by more than 49 per cent to 1.26 billion euros compared with 30 June 2006. The increase of the new business was strongly covered by Equipment (+50 per cent) and Real Estate (+39 per cent) Leasing.
Raiffeisen-Leasing International's total balance sheet grew by 44 per cent to 3.70 billion euros as at 30 June 2007.
For further information:
Public Relations Department
Phone: +385-1-6174-346, 6174-349, 6174-355
EBRD and Raiffeisen Leasing together encourage small and medium-sized enterprises.
To find out more, please contact Raiffeisen Leasing in Zagreb or in branch officess