To support the expansion of leasing to small and medium-sized enterprises in Croatia the EBRD is providing a 10 million euro loan to Raiffeisen Leasing under the EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility. The financing will be complemented by more than 925,000 euros from the European Commission for technical assistance, training of SME leasing officers and financial incentives.
This loan is expected to follow the success of the first 10 million euro credit line provided by the EBRD to Raiffeisen Leasing in March 2006.
The Croatian leasing market is characterised by strong growth, and leasing to SMEs has become a particularly important form of financing as the availability of bank financing to micro companies is restricted.
Raiffeisen Leasing is the third-largest leasing company with a market share of 8 per cent. The company has been focusing on car and equipment leasing and will use the second EBRD loan to broaden its activities, expanding into eastern Slavonia and the Croatian coast.
The EBRD credit line will be exclusively used for the financing of leases to micro and small enterprises with leases not exceeding 30,000 euros and 125,000 euros respectively.
Peter Reiniger, EBRD Business Group Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said the loan will contribute to make financing more accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises, which is essential for the development of the local economy. At the same time, it will help Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia to enter the smaller and micro segment of SME leasing outside the Croatian capital and diversify its funding base.
Miljenko Tumpa, Chairman of Raiffeisen Leasing’s Management Board, is pleased with the fact that the EBRD and the EU recognized the quality of Raiffeisen Leasing and that they chose the company as a partner in this programme for the second time. «The cooperation we have had so far was more than successful and it helped us to increase the volume of financing, through which we were able to contribute to a more effective development of the Croatian economy», he emphasized.
The EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility is a joint programme of the European Commission and the EBRD, supporting the development and growth of entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized enterprises by facilitating their access to finance. Under this regional programme covering 11 countries, the EBRD has committed 1,166.5 million euros to date, supported by 154.39 million euros in grant financing and technical assistance from the EC since the launch of the programme in 1999.
Established in October 1999, Raiffeisen Leasing d.o.o. is equally owned by Raiffeisen-Leasing International GmbH and Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d.. It currently employs 94 people and has branches in nine Croatian cities. The company ranks among the leading leasing companies on the Croatian market and covers all major sectors of economy. Its portfolio mainly consists of car leasing (private and business cars), with increasing market shares in equipment and boat financing as well as real estate leasing.
Raiffeisen-Leasing International GmbH, located in Vienna, is a holding company of leasing units in Central and Eastern Europe. It is 75 per cent owned by Raiffeisen International Bank-Holding AG and 25 per cent owned by Raiffeisen Leasing GmbH, Vienna.
The Raiffeisen CEE Leasing network currently covers 16 countries, after the leasing subsidiary in Moldova commenced business operations in December 2007. Generally, most of the units are established as universal leasing companies providing the whole range of leasing products — vehicle, equipment and real estate leasing. All leasing companies act independently from suppliers by offering tailor-made leasing and vendor solutions as well as financing typical standard products. More than 1,300 people were employed as at 30 June 2007. New business developed rigorously, increasing by more than 49 per cent to 1.26 billion euros compared with 30 June 2006. The increase of the new business was mostly due to equipment (+50 per cent) and real estate (+39 per cent) leasing.
Raiffeisen-Leasing International’s balance-sheet total grew by 44 per cent to 3.7 billion euros as at 30 June 2007.
For further information please contact Michael Palzer (+43-1-717 07-1504, firstname.lastname@example.org), www.ri.co.at
The EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, aims to foster the transition from centrally planned to market economies from central Europe to central Asia. Visit the EBRD’s website: www.ebrd.com Contact: Bojana Todorovska, +44 20 7338 6940, TodorovB@ebrd.com