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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case HR-2020-12/319 Updated – measures in Croatia

Measures of Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO)

HBOR i HAMAG-BICRO mjere za pomoć gospodarstvu i zaposlenicima

Country Croatia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 19 March 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Predrag Bejalovic (IJF) and Eurofound
Case created 06 April 2020 (updated 13 December 2020)

Background information

In order to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and following the first set of measures adopted by the Croatian Parliament on 19 March 2020, Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO) announced implementation of new measures to preserve the level of economic activity, the liquidity of economic operators and, most importantly, to preserve jobs. Mesures include possibility for entrepreneurs to introduce a moratorium and to reprogram their existing credit obligations to HBOR as well as easier approval of favorable liquidity loans in cooperation with commercial banks.

Content of measure

The following measures are implemented through the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO):

  • Reprogramming existing loans (with the introduction of a grace period in repayment of the loan principal) and introducing a moratorium on the credit obligations of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development clients and commercial banks on existing placements;
  • Approval of new liquidity loans to economic operators for financing salaries, overheads, and other basic operating expenses, in cooperation with commercial banks;
  • Approval of guarantees (insurance policy) to export commercial banks and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development within the framework of the guarantee fund for export insurance;
  • Increasing the scope of the guarantee fund for export insurance by including the tourism sector, the indirect exporting entities or the suppliers of direct exporters in the eligible beneficiaries;
  • Increasing the rate of the HAMAG-BICRO guarantee from 65% to 80% of the loan principal with a shortened processing procedure and an additional allocation of € 15 million for Micro working capital loans (up to € 25,000), with a maximum interest rate of 1%;
  • Moratorium on all installments of HAMAG-BICRO ESIF Micro and Small Loans by 31 December 2020;
  • Increasing the minimum grant limit from € 200,000 to € 500,000;

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 December 2020

The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development announced a new package of "COVID loans" in the total amount €142.5 million to help small and medium enterprises maintain liquidity. Eligible are micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in accordance with the Small Business Promotion Act, including natural persons performing a registered activity (crafts businesses, sole traders, family farms). The borrowers should cumulatively meet the following conditions: they are COVID-19 score clients, i.e. clients who have been, on the basis of the Methodology for the Calculation of COVID Score of the Financial Agency (FINA), assessed as clients whose business is endangered and who need additional finance. Assessment is assigned in accordance with the type of business entity, and all COVID scores are acceptable for lending purposes except the negative one. Furthermore, eligible are entrepreneurs that were not in difficulties on 31 December 2019 in terms of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of 17 June 2014) and were classified to the risk category A (Stage 1 or Stage 2 of credit risk) on 31 December 2019 in accordance with commercial bank’s data and/or were classified by the Financial Agency (FINA). Borrowers should meet HBOR’s eligibility criteria and the conditions for the approval of individual ESIF guarantee of HAMAG-BICRO. The purpose of loans is financing of salaries, overheads and other basic operating expenses (the so-called ‘idle mode’), purchase of raw materials, settlement of obligations towards suppliers and other current operating expenses. Loan funds cannot be used for the settling of existing loan obligations towards commercial banks or other financial institutions or for the payment of VAT. Minimum loan amount is €187,500.00, while maximum loan amount is €2,000,000.00. Interest rate is maximally 2.00% per annum.

20 October 2020

A meeting of the leaders of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Hamag Bicro was held at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and the main topic of discussion was the improvement of inter-institutional cooperation with an emphasis on speeding up and simplifying procedures for granting liquidity loans. The Croatian Chamber of Commerce is satisfied with the government's latest measures designed to help the business sector deal with the impact of the coronavirus crisis more easily and it believes they will bring them peace at least until the end of the 2020. The representative of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce underlined that there is a need to define a model for financial support which considers the specificity of every sector as much as possible, but priorities remain the same - maintaining liquidity of companies and keeping jobs. In this process crucial is the active role of Hamag Bicro and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, primarily in providing loans for maintaining liquidity.

01 October 2020

According to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development “Financial Report for a first half of 2020” (page 24) there were 792 demands for moratorium for the loans which were due in the period 1 April until 30 June 2020.

09 July 2020

In order to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, HBOR will implement new measures aimed at maintaining the level of economic activity, keeping the liquidity of economic operators stable and, most importantly, preserving jobs.
Therefore, entrepreneurs will be able to introduce a moratorium on and reschedule their existing loan obligations towards HBOR and will be offered new liquidity loans at favorable terms and conditions in cooperation with commercial banks. To facilitate the approval of liquidity loans at favorable terms and conditions in cooperation with commercial banks and to speed up the recovery of as many entrepreneurs as possible whose operations have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus), necessary guarantees in the form of portfolio insurance policies (guarantees) will be offered for loans intended for exporters and tourism industry.

Use of measure

Not yet known.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
Local funds
National funds
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

Due to the nature of measure social partners were not involved

Views and reactions

No involvement.

Sources

  • 12 March 2020: The Croatian National Bank (CNB) ensures continuity of key functions in addition to prevention of coronavirus disease spreading (www.hnb.hr)
  • 24 March 2020: The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction (Hrvatska banka za obnovu i razvoj) (2020). Pomoć poduzetnicima za ublažavanje negativnih posljedica nastalih pandemijom Covid – 19 virusa (koronavirusa), (www.hbor.hr)
  • 30 March 2020: Pridružite se EEN inicijativi “Care & Industry together against CORONA” (hamagbicro.hr)
  • 02 April 2020: Vlada Republike Hrvatske (2020). Prijedlog zaključka o drugoj skupini mjera za pomoć gospodarstvu uslijed epidemije koronavirusa (vlada.gov.hr)
  • 09 July 2020: HBOR produljio rok otplate Covid-19 zajmova za obrtna sredstva s tri na pet godina (www.poslovni.hr)
  • 09 July 2020: Skraceni, odvojeni i konsolidirani financijski izvjestaji od od 1.1. do 30.6.2020 (www.hbor.hr)
  • 30 September 2020: Pomoć poduzetnicima pogođenih epidemijom COVID–19 Teme POMOĆ PODUZETNICIMA POGOĐENIH EPIDEMIJOM COVID–19drva i proizvodnje namjestaja (www.hbor.hr)
  • 21 October 2020: Sastanak čelnika HGK i HAMAG BICRO-A (www.tportal.hr)
  • 01 December 2020: Krediti za obrtna sredstva putem okvirnih kredita bankama uz HAMAG-BICRO jamstvo (www.hbor.hr)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Measures of Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO), case HR-2020-12/319 (measures in Croatia), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.