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EUR 20m for SMEs in Croatia under the Western Balkans Enterprise and Innovation Facility

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    Date: 30 April 2015

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Raiffeisenbank Austria, Croatia, have signed a guarantee agreement to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Croatia under the Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF).

The WB EDIF support will allow Raiffeisenbank Austria, Croatia, to provide additional financing to SMEs in Croatia for a total of EUR 20m over the next two years at favourable conditions.

Commenting on the transaction EIF’s Guarantees, Securitisation & Microfinance Director Alessandro Tappi said: “I am pleased to be signing the first Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility agreement in Croatia, for small enterprises with Raiffeisenbank Austria, Croatia. I am sure that this agreement will also help to create jobs and growth in Croatia.”

Mr Michael Mueller, CEO at Raiffeisenbank Austria, Croatia, said: “The SME sector plays an important role in economic development.  Partnership and cooperation with the EIF is yet another step by which we support and stimulate entrepreneurship and employment.  This way we provide easier access to funding to small and medium-sized businesses and continue to strengthen lending activities in the SME segment.”

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) 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. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 8.8bn at end 2014. With investments in over 500 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 350 operations at end 2014, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor. The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the EIB Group.

About WB EDIF

The Western Balkan Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) promotes the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential companies, as well as the creation of a regional Venture Capital market. The EUR 145 million of capital pulled together under this Facility by the EU, international financial institutions (IFIs), beneficiaries and bilateral donors will effectively translate into over EUR 300 million of direct financing for SMEs in the region.

The Facility is coordinated by the European Investment Fund and implemented in close cooperation between the governments of the Western Balkans, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). IFIs, international organisations and bilateral donors active in the region, such as the World Bank, DEG, OECD and others participating in order to streamline the efforts to develop the private sector in the Western Balkans.

About Raiffeisenbank Austria

Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d. (RBA) is the first bank in the Croatian market founded with foreign capital and it is a part of the international network Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) that is present in 15 CEE markets.

Small and middle-size enterprises are of an exceptional importance for the economy, and they are also the main competitors in the market. The Raiffeisenbank SME offer incorporates deposit business and financing, in which simple solutions are created, applicable within a short period. Further, RBA provides also assisstance in investment projects. In co-operation with the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts and with Counties, RBA is implementing financial but also educational models, which it believes to greatly alleviate business projects as well as stimulate entrepreneurs for new undertakings, despite the unrewarding market environment and the economic situation in the country.

Flexibility is the characteristic of the Raiffeisenbank approach to all client segments, and this is especially important in the sector of small and middle-size enterprises. Continuously striving to adequately meet the clients' needs, we bear in mind that small and middle-size businesses are the moving force of the economy as a whole.

EIF Press Contact: David Yormesor, d.yormesor@eif.org

Raiffeisenbank Austria Press Contact: Nikolina Bogati, pr@rba.hr


 
 

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