Croatian state-run development bank to disburse €146m in loans to businesses

NEWS 27.05.2022 12:24
Source: Pixabay / Ilustracija

Financial instruments in the form of favorable loans to be granted by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), totalling 1.1 billion kuna (€146 million) and intended for almost all groups of businesses, were presented on Friday.

Out of six financial instruments envisaged by the NPOO, HBOR is launching the implementation of four instruments, worth 1.1 billion kuna.

HBOR Management Board President Tamara Perko said that the instruments in question were direct loans in the amount of 500 million kuna for groups which have more difficulty obtaining loans from commercial banks than other businesses and a 600 million kuna program of interest subsidies for micro, small and medium-sized businesses, mid-caps and big companies and the public sector.

The 500 million kuna worth of loans is intended for business beginners, entrepreneurs under the age of 40, women entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses investing in research, development and innovation, and small and medium companies investing in less developed regions.

Perko said the interest rate would be 0.4% if the projects were related to green and digital transition while for other loans it would be 0.8%.

The loans will have a maturity of up to 15 years, a grace period of up to three years and applicants will not be charged for loan processing.

The 600 million kuna programme of interest subsidies refers to micro, small, medium and big companies. If the projects with which they apply for interest subsidies are related to green and digital transition, HBOR will subsidise interest with 75% and if they are related to investment in less developed regions, research and development, innovation or post-earthquake reconstruction, interest will be subsidies with 65%. All the other interest rates will be subsidised with 50% of the interest amount.

The prime minister’s advisor on economic affairs, Zvonimir Savic, said that Croatia applies every six months for the payment of funds under the recovery and resilience plan, and that in September 2021 an advance in the amount of €818 million was paid, after which in March 2022 a request was made for the payment of the first installment under the recovery and resilience plan. Another €700 million is expected in June and Croatia has already drawn one-quarter of funds available under the NPOO, he said.

Another €700 million will be applied for in June and paid by the end of the year, Savic said, adding that Croatia is currently sixth in the EU in terms of the speed and dynamic of implementation of the recovery and resilience plan.

The state secretary at the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry, Natasa Mikus, said that 30% of the funding under the recovery and resilience plan was intended for the economic sector, noting that Croatia was first in the EU in that regard.

The state is trying to make doing business simpler and cheaper, and so far tax breaks worth 3 billion kuna have been introduced, she said.

(€1 = 7.53 kuna)