Croatia's Leasing Sector Growing Again

By 30 August 2016

There are 20 companies offering leasing financing services.

Former Hypo Leasing has recently disappeared from the Croatian leasing market. The new owners apparently did not consider it worthwhile to continue operating under the umbrella of the Addiko Bank. Therefore, in the future 20 companies will continue to compete on Croatia’s leasing market. However, despite the closure of that one particular leasing company, the leasing market in the first half of the year has grown significantly, reports Večernji List on August 30, 2016.

The value of newly-concluded contracts reached 3.45 billion kuna in six months, which is 850 million kuna more than in the same period last year, according to data of the Croatian Agency for Supervision of Financial Services. The number of contracts for operating leases was 23 percent higher than last year.

Financial leasing services are also growing: the number of contracts is 38 percent higher, while their total value increased by as much as 43 percent. “Thanks to the recovery of the market, we can feel the growth of about 30 percent, which is great after many years of crisis during which both entrepreneurs and the financial industry were extremely cautious. Entrepreneurs have slowly started opening the doors to new investments in order to be competitive, which is strengthening the leasing industry as well. I believe that these positive trends will continue in the rest of the year”, said CEO of OTP Leasing Renata Pondeljak.

By the end of June, OTP Leasing had signed new contracts worth 385 million kuna, which makes it the third largest leasing company among those which are owned by banks, behind Erste Bank (720.4 million kuna) and Unicredit (499.3 million kuna). Low interest rates and increase of regulatory costs put pressure on profitability, and a large part of the market is owned by companies associated with car producers that exclusively finance the purchase of vehicles. However, some leasing companies have focused on other products, like vessels.

Looking at specific sectors, it is evident that operating leasing is primarily used to purchase production plants and equipment, with an increase of more than 40 percent, then commercial vehicles with an increase of 35 percent, passenger vehicles with 22 percent increase, and vessels with an increase of 17 percent.

In financial leasing, the first place belongs to vessel with a growth of 62 percent, followed by passenger cars with an increase of 50 percent. The financing of real estate is still in free fall, with the number of new contracts about 50 percent lower than last year.