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CEB Governor signs €100 million loan agreement with Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, meets with Croatian Minister of Finance

23 November 2017

Zdravko Marić and Rolf Wenzel
Zdravko Marić and Rolf Wenzel
ZAGREB – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, signed a €100 million Framework Loan Agreement with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) in Zagreb today. The funds will be used for the financing of projects implemented by SMEs and also by local and regional government units or other public sector entities in the Republic of Croatia. 

The CEB and the HBOR enjoy a long and fruitful cooperation going back to 2001. The loan agreement signed today has been preceded by another five CEB loans granted to the HBOR, totalling almost €250 million. The most recent of those was a €90 million loan approved in July 2013 and fully disbursed by December 2016. 

The two institutions have been working to promote sustainable social development in Croatia. Initially focusing on the financing of productive investments undertaken by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the scope of CEB loans to the HBOR has broadened in recent years to include social infrastructure development projects improving the living conditions of inhabitants throughout the country. 

Signature FLA HBOR2Commenting on the signing, Governor Wenzel underlined the CEB’s unwavering commitment to supporting HBOR efforts to strengthen economic recovery, boost employment and foster social cohesion through improving public infrastructure and services in Croatia.

Governor Wenzel also met with the Croatian Minister of Finance, Zdravko Marić, with whom he exchanged views on ongoing and future CEB operations in the country. At the end of the meeting, the Governor expressed his satisfaction about the very constructive dialogue with Mr Marić, which reaffirmed the excellent relations between the CEB and Croatia and showed that there was scope for further strengthening cooperation in the social sector. 

Since becoming a CEB member in 1997, Croatia has benefited from financing in areas such as job creation and preservation, urban and rural modernisation, and the management and prevention of natural disasters. Croatia is also one of the four partner countries of the CEB-managed Regional Housing Programme (RHP), which is aimed at providing sustainable housing solutions to thousands of vulnerable displaced persons.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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