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Nov 20, 2017 16:09 EEST
November 20 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Monday it is providing a 20 million euro ($23.5 million) loan to UniCredit Leasing Croatia for the expansion of leasing finance especially to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The availability of additional funds is expected to strengthen the growth of Croatia’s economy, the EBRD said in a statement.
"Under conditions where many small and medium-sized enterprises only have limited access to traditional finance, leasing represents an attractive and valuable alternative. We are pleased to cooperate with UniCredit Leasing Croatia to strengthen the role of leasing in the private sector," EBRD regional director for Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, Vedrana Jelusic Kasic, said.
Leasing is the second most widely used financing instrument following bank loans in Croatia. However, the leasing sector is still small in size compared with the banking sector. The economic recovery and GDP growth in Croatia had a positive impact on the leasing sector which started showing first signs of growth in 2016 and continued an upward trend in 2017, the bank noted.
"UniCredit Leasing, in cooperation with the EBRD, offers special funding opportunities for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises when they are financing new equipment, machinery, production lines or vehicles. During the last few years, hundreds of SMEs expanded or renewed their production capacity and enlarged their business in all regions of Croatia by using funds from our cooperation," the CEO of UniCredit Leasing Croatia, Eugen Paic-Karega, said.
The EBRD signed its first project in Croatia in 1994 and has invested 3.6 billion euro in 197 projects to date. The bank’s activities cover all areas of the economy but are particularly strong in the infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy sectors.
($ = 0.849652 euro)
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