Leasing market grows in Croatia
The leasing market in Croatia registered a growth in the first eight months of 2008, with companies which recorded 28,000 active contracts worth a total of a billion euro, or 200 million euro more compared to the same period of last year. The data were reported by the Zagreb office of the Italian Foreign Trade Institute (ICE) via a statement. The majority of the contracts were financial leasing ones which, in the first three months of the year, amounted to 18.24 billion kuna (some 2.56 billion euro), with a 30% rise compared to the same period of 2007. The operating value of leasing contracts for the same period equalled 15.5 billion kuna (some 2.18 billion euro), or 23% more compared to 2007. During the first half of 2008, the highest number of leasing contracts were signed by local company Hypo Leasing, a subsidiary of Austrian Hypo Alpe Adria Bank, which holds a 30% share of the Croatian leasing market. It is followed by Immorent Croatia group (specialising in real estate leasing) which is a subsidiary of Austrian Erste Bank. UniCredit Leasing, subsidiary of Gruppo UniCredit, is placed third with a 12.5% market share, and it posted the most profit (5.5 million euro) in 2007. According to data released by the Croatian agency for control of the financial market, in the first six months of 2008 leasing companies posted a total profit of 10.8 million euro, while during the same period of 2007 the profit equalled 17.94 million euro.