Thursday, 18 March 2021

Guarantees for Culture and Creative Industry Extended Until End of June

ZAGREB, 18 March, 2021 - The government on Thursday decided to extend its loan guarantee programme for enterprises in the field of culture and the creative industry until 30 June this year.

The programme foresees HRK 300 million in loans with guarantees of 100% of the principal and a maximum amount of €800,000 per applicant. The shortest period of the guarantee is one year and the most five years, which includes a one-year grace period.

Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek recalled that the government adopted the guarantee programme for enterprises in culture and the creative industry in July last year, which was the first time in history.

Considering that the pandemic situation has continued, the government has decided to extend the guarantee programme until 30 June, said the minister and added that preparations are underway to extend the programme until the end of 2021.

The loan guarantee programme is earmarked for SMEs in the field of culture and creative industry affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The programme is aimed at securing additional liquidity for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in culture and the creative industry at a decreased interest rate and/or fewer collateral required.

The programme is based on the European Commission Temporary Framework to support economy in the context of coronavirus outbreak. It was approved by the Commission on 17 June 2020 and adopted by the government on 2 July 2020.

Following amendments on 13 October 2020, the Commission enabled member states to extend the duration of state support until 30 June 2021, the government explained.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange: Indices Fall For Second Day Amid Weak Trading

ZAGREB, 17 March, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange indices slipped on Wednesday by about 0.7%, falling for the second straight day amid a poor trading day of just over HRK 3 million.

The Crobex fell by 0.73% to 1,863 points and the Crobex10 fell by 0.68% to 1,172 points. Both indices dropped for the second day running.

All sector indices dropped too with the construction index falling the most by 5.93%. 

Regular turnover was a mere HRK 3.3 million or 2.2 million less than a day earlier.

Not one stock crossed the million kuna mark.

The highest turnover of HRK 676,000 was generated by the HT telecommunications company with the price of its shares plunging by 1.79% to close at HRK 192.50.

(€1 = HRK 7.6)

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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Croatia Receives Second €510m Tranche From SURE

ZAGREB, 16 March, 2021 - The European Commission on Tuesday disbursed €9 billion to seven EU member states, including €510 million to Croatia, in the fifth instalment of financial support to preserve employment during the coronavirus pandemic under the SURE instrument.

This is the second instalment this year. Czechia has received €1 billion, Spain €2.87 billion, Italy €3.87 billion, Lithuania €302 million, Malta €123 million and Slovakia €330 million.

So far, 16 member states have received a total of €62.5 billion under the SURE instrument in loans which the Commission is taking out on financial markets at the best terms.

Croatia received the first instalment of €510 million on 17 November.

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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK): "National Recovery and Resilience Plan Should Include Trades"

ZAGREB, 16 March, 2021 - The Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) on Tuesday said that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan should include trades and crafts.

HOK said that a survey of 1,722 HOK members indicates a huge interest in EU grants.

Most of them (85%) consider investing in tangible and non-tangible assets to be the most important, notably purchasing equipment and machinery, and upgrading and building new production capacities.

The estimated value of projects that would be submitted by the majority of trades ranges from HRK 150,000 to 750,000, HOK said, adding that trades are willing to invest their own funds too.

HOK in particular noted that more than 73% of trades do not plan to use financial instruments in the coming period.

HOK is investing significant effort in preparing programme documentation for the 2021-2027 EU financial period.

The aim is to raise awareness of the needs of trades and that adequate calls for applications for grants are ensured.

HOK said that the needs of trades should be recognised through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan due to the consequences of the COVID pandemic and the negative economic trends. Hence HOK has sent its recommendations to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in an effort to find the best possible solution for trades.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Zadar: Contracts For Social Entrepreneurship Worth HRK 10 Million Presented

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Labour Minister Josip Aladrović and deputy director of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development Luka Bogdan presented eight contracts in Zadar on Friday worth nearly HRK 10 million for projects to strengthen the capacities of old and new social enterprises and entrepreneurs.

"Today, we signed contracts with entities that are just starting and that are developing their business in accordance with principles of social entrepreneurship," said Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrović, noting that the ministry has provided over HRK 112 million to encourage social entrepreneurship.

The pandemic and crisis have created an opportunity for doing some things better and fairer, he said.

I believe that we can find a way in our business to regain a positive social impact. There are four counties among the co-signers: Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Lika-Senj counties. All forms of entrepreneurship in these areas are more important than ever before, mostly due to the impact the pandemic has had on the tourism sector and all related activities, Minister Aladrović said, adding that by signing the projects they want to strengthen the capacities of old and new social enterprises through additional employment and education.

Deputy director of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development Luka Bogdan  said that social entrepreneurship was one of the models connecting solidarity and entrepreneurship that could be seen every day, not just in a crisis.

The purpose of the projects is to employ members of vulnerable groups -- women, Croatian war veterans and victims of the Homeland War, people with disabilities and others, and this will include creating new jobs and improving the knowledge and skills of employees through specialised forms of training and employment.

Before presenting the contracts cofinanced by the European Social Fund, Minister Aladrović and his associates had a working meeting with representatives of the City of Zadar on increasing capacities of retirement homes.

According to state secretary Marija Pletikosa, it is estimated that about 5% of the population aged over 65 needs accommodation in a retirement home, and Zadar has not yet reached the capacity to accommodate 3%, so it is necessary to build new retirement homes.

Aladrović said that he supported the idea because increasing the number of accommodation units for the elderly population across Croatia was one the priorities of his ministry.

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Thursday, 11 March 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices End in Green

ZAGREB, 11 March, 2021 - After a slight drop on Wednesday, the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) Crobex index rebounded on Thursday, increasing by 0.12% to 1,864.90 points, while the Crobex10 continued its upward movement for the fourth day in a row, closing up 0.25% at 1,166.04 points.

Turnover at the close of the trading session reached HRK 7.3 million, about 2 million less than on Wednesday.

The highest turnover, of HRK 2.25 million, was generated by the stock of the HT telecommunications company. It closed at HRK 192 per share, up 2.13%, its highest price since June 2013 when it closed at slightly over HRK 200 per share.

The only other stock to pass the turnover mark of one million kuna was plastic car parts manufacturer AD Plastik, turning over HRK 1.2 million. It ended the day at HRK 185.50 per share, up 0.27%.

A total of 44 stocks traded today, with 18 of them recording share price increases, eight registering price decreases and 18 stagnating in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.582776)

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Saturday, 6 March 2021

3 in 4 Croats Aged 20 to 64 to be in Work Under 2030 Employment Target

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - Croatia's 2030 employment target is to have 75% of adults in work, and currently only two thirds  (66%) of the adult population are employed, the Večernji List daily reported on Saturday.

The current Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union is organising a summit meeting on social affairs in May, and the EU is supposed to endorse new goals in this sector which should be accomplished until the end of this decade.

One of the goals is that at least 78 of 100 people aged 20 to 64 should be in employment by the end of this decade.

Three of four Croats aged between 20-64 to be employed

It is up to each member state to define its targets, and Zagreb plans to have three fifths people in the 20-64 age cohort in employment until 2030. For this target to be met, the country should create new 200,000 jobs in the coming years.

Currently, only Greece and Italy fare worse than Croatia in this regard, where only three fifths of adults (60%) are employed.

Sweden tops the EU ranking with 82 out of 100 adults being employed, and Germany follows with 80%.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Drop Amid Slightly Higher Turnover

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices fell on Friday amid a slightly higher turnover than the previous day, with the Crobex dropping by 0.85% to 1,829 and the Crobex10 by 0.52% to 1,139.

Week-on-week, the Crobex slid by 0.2%, while the Crobex10 increased by 0.63%.

All sectoral indices finished the day in the red, with the tourism index showing the biggest decline, of 1.35%.

Today's regular turnover was HRK 5.7 million, or HRK 1.7 million more than on Thursday.

The stock of the HT telecommunications company was the only one to cross the one million kuna mark, and it generated a turnover of slightly more than HRK 2 million. Its price went up by 1.1% to HRK 183 per share.

The company today said that a meeting of the Supervisory Board would be held on Tuesday, 9 March, when annual financial reports and the proposal for the use of profit for 2020 would be determined, and on Wednesday the revised financial reports the proposal for the use of profit would be published.

The stock of the Valamar Riviera tourism company turned over HRK 773,000, its price dropping by 2.62% to HRK 29.7 per share.

Thirty-eight stocks traded today, with 10 of them registering share price increases, 22 recording price decreases and sixremaining stable in price.

(€1 = 7.576668)

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Banks' Net Profits Drop 53% in 2020, Recovery Expected This Year

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - In 2020 banks' net profits were more than halved, while this year corporate and household lending is expected to pick up and demand for housing loans to increase, it was said on Thursday at a digital press briefing of the Croatian Banking Association (HUB).

Also presented was HUB's analysis of the banking business in 2020 and the response to the COVID-19 crisis which, it was said, resulted in a significant deterioration of banks' business results.

Net profits in 2020 dropped by 53.3% from 2019, to HRK 2.7 billion, mainly due to a drop in operating income and a growth in value corrections of financial assets --- amortisation expenses.

Net interest income dropped by 5.7% on the year, net fee and commission income by 10.5% and net business income by 9.9%. "This means that banks' income dropped a little more than Croatia's GDP in 2020," HUB director Zdenko Adrović said. Last year GDP contracted by 8.4%.

Banks' capital ratio at the end of 2020 was 24.9%, ranking them among the best capitalised banks in the world, which facilitates lending and deposit growth as well as low interest rates, he said.

Deposits and lending increased in 2020

In 2020 household deposits went up 6.1% on the year to HRK 224.5 billion, while in January 2021 they were up 7.1% on the year.

The fast deposit growth is mainly a result of giving up spending or the impossibility to spend part of one's income, said Adrović.

In 2020 household lending went up by 2.3%, with housing loans increasing by 7-8%. In Q4 alone, housing loans were up 14% on the year, while non-purpose cash loans dropped by 1% and overdrafts on transaction accounts by 5%.

Adrović said he believed that corporate and household lending would pick up in the coming period due to a rise in demand for housing loans. Part of the demand comes from the government's subsidised housing scheme and it is also due to last year's earthquakes, he added.

This year demand for housing and corporate loans is expected to improve and, thanks to existing interest rates, result in higher income and net profit for banks, Adrović said.

Last year corporate loans went up 5.3% while this past January they increased by 5.7%, he added.

Thanks to an average interest on long-term housing loans of 2.9% and no big pressure on interest growth, Croatia is doing very well, he said, noting that interest rates were markedly lower than in more developed countries which have been in the EU longer than Croatia, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Latvia.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange: Indices Rise For a Second Day In a Row

ZAGREB, 3 March, 2021 - Amid a quiet trading day on the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the main indices increased mildly, the Crobex by 0.17% to 1,844 points and the Crobex10 rising by 0.06% to 1,146 points.

Regular turnover amounted to a modest HRK 4.68 million or about HRK 200,000 less than on Tuesday.

Not one stock crossed the million kuna mark.

The biggest turnover of HRK 843,000 was generated by the Podravka food producer. The price of Podravka shares increased by 1.18% to close at HRK 516 per share.

(€1 = HRK 7.571693)

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