The FINANCIAL — A loan of up to €15 million by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to ProCredit Bank Macedonia (PCBM) will help local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in North Macedonia to cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
The EBRD funds will address the liquidity needs of small businesses that are experiencing a decrease in their activities and turnover due to the spread of the virus.
A long-standing partner of the EBRD, PCBM was founded in 2003 and today is the sixth largest bank in North Macedonia with a market share of 5.5 per cent by total assets. However, as the bank is specialised in SME lending, its market share in terms of loans to SMEs stands at 14%.
The loan demonstrates the EBRD’s confidence in the strength of PCBM, the Macedonian banking sector and the resilience of the Macedonian economy.
“ProCredit Bank has been successfully supporting Macedonian economy for 17 years and is a proven partner of small and medium enterprises in the country. Our success is due to the long-term, partnership, transparency in communication with customers, high quality service and responsible lending. As a responsible bank, in a situation of reduced economic activity due to the pandemic caused by the Covid virus, we stand behind our customers. In a situation of increased uncertainty, it is important for the bank partner to provide the clients with the necessary funds for further stabilization and growth. Significant support is the EBRD credit line, with which additional funds in the amount of € 15 million will be placed in the Macedonian economy, ” said Emilija Spirovska, Member of the Board of Directors of ProCredit Bank Macedonija.
Andi Aranitasi, EBRD Head of North Macedonia, said: “We are proud to sign this agreement with Procredit Bank Macedonia today and extend the partnership between our two institutions. The bank’s excellent track record in serving the Macedonian SMEs and its excellent outreach make it well placed to channel EBRD funds and provide help and much needed liquidity to companies that are going through an unprecedented period of volatility. By signing this agreement, EBRD provides total of EUR 35m financial help and liquidity to businesses in North Macedonia through the Resilience Framework, a product developed to help the Covid-striken economies of our countries of operations.”
The EBRD loan comes under the Bank’s Resilience Framework, a set of measures to support existing clients affected by economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the EBRD significantly stepped up its engagement and expects to dedicate the entirety of its investment of up to €21 billion in the period 2020-21 to combat the impact of Covid-19.
The EBRD is a major institutional investor in North Macedonia. To date, it has invested more than €2 billion in 134 projects in the country.