An EBRD loan has helped a Croatian leasing company to provide finance to small and medium-sized businesses.
Help during the financial crisis
Starting or expanding a business can seem a daunting, if not impossible, task – not least during a financial crisis. However, leasing offers a lifeline to companies that do not have the cash to fund all their equipment needs from the outset.
Assistance for smaller enterprises
The EBRD is seeking to expand leasing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Croatia. In 2008 the Bank provided a €10 million loan to Raiffeisen Leasing, to be complemented by more than €875,000 in technical assistance from the European Commission.
Raiffeisen Leasing is the third-largest leasing company in Croatia with a market share of 8 per cent. Its success is based on the quality of its assets, as good equipment means lower maintenance costs. Its huge product range – over 100 – and variety of assets also provide security.
A diverse client base
While many of Raiffeisen’s clients are family-owned agricultural businesses needing crop harvesting equipment, there is demand also for leasing finance in emerging industries, especially those using new technology such as digital printing.
The company is already putting the EU funds allocated for technical assistance to good use. It is deploying the first tranche of €100,000 to train its management and sales employees with the help of Croatian and British consultants Raiffeisen Leasing Croatia.