EBRD in first MREL-eligible bond purchase in Croatia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing €9 million in bonds issued by Erste & Steiermärkische Bank d.d., the Croatian subsidiary of Austria’s Erste Group Bank AG, as part of a €45 million issuance listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange and marketed mainly to local institutional investors.

It is the EBRD’s first purchase of a bond eligible under the Minimum Requirement for own funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL) issued by a local financial institution in Croatia. It also is the first MREL-eligible instrument issued by a Croatian bank on the local or international market since the introduction of the EU’s Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the MREL guidelines in Croatia.

Under the regulations of the EU Banking Union participating banks must meet regulatory targets so as to be able to absorb losses and restore their capital position, allowing them to perform their economic functions during and after a crisis. MREL represents one of the key tools in enhancing banks’ resolvability.

The proceeds of the issuance will support Erste Bank’s regulatory compliance, the diversification of its funding base, the increase of its loss-absorption capacity and crisis resilience and promote the green agenda in Croatia.

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