EBRD to increase investments in Croatia in 2018

NEWS 08.05.2018 09:13
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Source: Ilustracija

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to significantly increase its investments in projects in Croatia this year, from €124 million which was invested into 13 projects in 2017, the bank's regional director said on Monday.

EBRD’s largest single project last year was a 50 million loan to the state road management company Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC), earmarked its restructuring.

EBRD’s Regional Director for Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungaria, Vedrana Jelusic-Kasic, said that the bank is expected to significantly increase its investment volume in the country this year.

“We have launched several policy initiatives, for instance to improve the business environment, promote investments in the stock market, and boost the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE), Jelusic Kasic told Hina news agency on Monday.

In 2018, the bank launched a new initiative in cooperation with the state financial regulator HANFA supporting the review of the Corporate Governance Code.

“We are an institution that responds if there is demand for our services, so we are happy to engage wherever we feel our contribution can make a difference, as long as the project in question meets our criteria,” Jelusic-Kasic said.

“In our strategy for Croatia, adopted in June 2017, we identified the private sector, the financial markets, and the restructuring of public companies as our priorities. We expect a significantly higher volume of investments in 2018,” she added.

Supporting SMEs through partnered financial institutions will continue to be relevant, Jelusic-Kasic said, because of their dominance in the Croatian economy, and the fact that they still remain underserved by commercial banks.

EBRD’s annual meeting will be held on May 9-10. in Jordanu, accompanied by a business forum, this year titled Energising Economies. The bank’s economists will use the meeting to publish their macro-economic predictions for economies where EBRD is present.

The bank, established in 1991, had invested 9.7 billion in projects in 38 countries in 2017.

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