The European Investment Bank Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), provided €760 million in 2021 to the local economy in Croatia, a record investment volume in the past five years.
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The EIB and the EIF provided €113 million and a record high €647 million respectively.
The record high volumes of EIF operations in Croatia stem from the guarantees extended to public and commercial banks under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF).
The EIB Group provided €650 million in EGF guarantees, unlocking new credit lines for Croatian companies of all sizes to help them recover from the economic effects of the pandemic, finance their urgent liquidity needs, preserve and create jobs, and continue with investments.
The EIB signed two new operations in Croatia in 2021. The EU bank invested €63 million in Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP) to support its renewable energy investment programme, a key measure to ensure faster energy independence of Croatia and the European Union.
The Bank provided an additional €50 million in EGF guarantees to Hrvatska Banka za Obnovu i Razvitak (HBOR) to improve financing conditions for Croatian mid-caps and large companies.
In 2021, the EIB expanded its partnership with the Government of Croatia. The EIB signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development on the development and financing of key energy, sustainability and climate-related projects in the country.
As a result, the EIB will actively support the rollout of Croatia’s National Energy and Climate Plan.
The EIB and the Government of Croatia will address investment needs in key areas such as (i) renewable electricity generation and transmission distribution infrastructure; (ii) clean energy and energy efficiency measures, and renovations and conversions of buildings; (iii) green mobility; and (iv) support for the Croatian economy’s transition to a circular economy.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) made history reaching its highest ever volume of operations, contributing €647 million to the local economy. The EIF provided €48 million in equity to four equity funds, including the Feelsgood Social Impact Investment Fund and the Croatian Mezzanine Debt Fund.
The largest share of the EIF’s contribution to the Croatian economy in 2021 concerns €599 million provided to public and private banks in Croatia including HBOR, OTP, UniCredit, Privredna banka Zagreb and Erste bank, in the form of EGF guarantees, making 2021 the most successful year on record for the EIF in Croatia.
In 2021, the EIF, together with Croatia’s HBOR launched a new €20 million investment platform to support innovation, scientific research, and the protection of intellectual property in Croatia.
The investment platform will improve the use and commercialisation of research projects and scientific achievements and reinforce the long-term competitiveness of Croatia’s economy.
In immediate response to the devastating earthquake in December 2020, the EIB Group donated €255 000 from its own funds and employees’ donations to the Republic of Croatia. The EIB donation provided temporary homes to 30 families and enabled 78 people across the earthquake-devastated region to move into safe, modern container houses until their homes were renovated.
Over the past ten years, the EIB has invested some €4.57 billion in Croatia. ■