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EUR 10 million for Croatian micro-enterprises as EIF extends a guarantee to UniCredit Leasing Croatia under Juncker Plan

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    Date: 09 September 2019

Croatian micro-enterprises and start-ups looking to purchase small machinery and equipment worth up to EUR 25,000 can benefit from the guarantee extended today by the European Investment Fund (EIF) to UniCredit Leasing Croatia. EIF is providing the largest leasing company in Croatia with a guarantee to grow its leasing portfolio for micro-enterprises with a higher risk profile worth EUR 10 million in total.

The transaction is enabled by a guarantee from the EU budget, under the Investment Plan for Europe - the Juncker Plan - and its European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which allows the European Investment Bank Group to invest in more and often higher-risk operations.  

EIF and UniCredit Leasing Croatia’s partnership will allow Croatian micro-enterprises more competitive leasing terms from those currently available on the local financial market. With the EIF guarantee, UniCredit Leasing Croatia will be able to reduce collateral requirements for its micro-enterprise clients.

In line with the two partners’ commitment to create long-term sustainable conditions for the development of the Croatian and EU economy, the transaction will also allow UniCredit Leasing Croatia to strengthen these micro companies via workshops and training sessions on company management and financial literacy topics.

The EIF guarantee is supported via the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) for Microfinance set up by the European Commission to foster development of microfinance and social entrepreneurship in the European Union and managed by the EIF. The EaSI programme promotes quality and sustainable employment, adequate and decent social protection and combats social exclusion and poverty by improving working conditions in the EU.

Chief Investment Officer of the EIF, Alessandro Tappi, said: “The EIF is happy to support UniCredit Leasing Croatia in providing additional financing to Croatian micro-enterprises and start-ups. We are grateful for the opportunity to support economic and social development in Croatia made possible through the European Commission’s EaSI programme.”

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “Today’s agreement with Unicredit Leasing Croatia is positive news for very small companies in Croatia. Not only does it provide them with new financing opportunities of up to EUR 25,000 to purchase essential equipment, but it also offers additional business support and training. This goes to the very heart of the Juncker Plan’s objectives.”  :

CEO, UniCredit Leasing Croatia, Aleksandra Rašić, said: “Supporting entrepreneurs has always been central to the UniCredit Leasing financing strategy, particularly micro-entrepreneurs and start-ups aiming to grow their business in a sustainable way. UniCredit Leasing, now with guarantee support from the EIF, will be able to offer even better funding opportunities for start-ups and the development of micro-sized enterprises to finance new equipment, machinery or production lines.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops both 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.

Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Juncker Plan and provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise almost EUR 424 billion in investments, including nearly EUR 1.2 billion in Croatia, and support 967,000 SMEs in the 28 Member States. More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.

About Unicredit Leasing Croatia

Unicredit Leasing Croatia is the leading leasing company in Croatia, growing faster than the market while preserving adequacy of risk, profitability and productivity. It generates distinctive value added for their clients, employees and the local community.

The company is part of Unicredit Group and 100% owned by Zagrebačka banka d.d. Its main activities are providing finance and operating lease services for individuals and legal entities.

It operates through nine branches geographically distributed throughout the Country with more than 9.500 clients in portfolio of which 11% are micro-entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Press contacts:

EIF:
Tibor Jona

Tel: +352 69 287 052
e-mail: t.jona@eib.org

Unicredit Leasing Croatia:
Anita Koštić
Tel: + 385 1 2447 532
e-mail: anita.kostic@unicreditleasing.hr

Representation of the European Commission in Croatia:
Rima Joujou Deljkić
Tel: +385 99 2751 788, 
e-mail: Rima.joujou@ec.europa.eu

 

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