Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvitak (HBOR) and the CEB cooperate to promote sustainable social and economic development in Republic of Croatia

17 December 2008

PARIS - Loans to help promote job creation via the SME sector

Mr. Anton Kovačev, President of the Managing Board of HBOR, and Mr. Imre Tarafás, Vice Governor of the CEB, today signed a loan agreement for an amount of EUR 50 million, which will provide medium- and long-term funds for the partial financing of productive investment projects in micro/small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout Croatia. The loans will be granted to HBOR and channelled to the final beneficiaries either directly by HBOR or through intermediary banks.

On the occasion of the signature ceremony, Mr. Tarafás and Mr. Kovačev took the opportunity to underline the long-standing relationship between the two institutions, since CEB and HBOR have been working together to promote sustainable social and economic development in Croatia since 2001.

With a rate of job creation estimated to be three times higher than in State-owned or other public companies, SMEs are among the most significant driving forces behind the growth of the Croatian economy. The CEB loan is opportune in that there is a steadily rising demand for funding emanating from the SME sector. Providing said SMEs with the funds necessary to expand their capacity or adopt new technologies and encouraging innovation is expected to strengthen their competitiveness and thereby reinforce their ability to create and maintain jobs.

HBOR was established on 12th June 1992 by the Act on the Croatian Credit Bank for Reconstruction (Hrvatska kreditna banka za obnovu – HKBO). The Bank was founded and is entirely owned by The Republic of Croatia. In December 1995 the Bank was renamed Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvitak – HBOR). In December 2006 the new Act on the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development was passed. Within the Croatian banking system HBOR plays the role of a development and export bank established with the objective of financing the reconstruction and development of the Croatian economy. The Bank is rated A3 by Moody’s and BBB by Standard & Poor’s.

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