The EBRD has teamed up with Macedonian bank, NLB Tutunska banka, to increase the competitiveness of the Macedonian private sector and to promote energy efficiency in the country with a €6 million financing package.
The EBRD will provide two loans of €3 million each to NLB Tutunska banka for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
One loan will be used to finance energy efficiency improvements and small renewable energy projects. The second €3 million loan will support SME investments necessary to comply with EU health and safety, environment, and product safety and quality standards.
The loans come under the Western Balkans Sustainable Energy Financing Facility II (WeBSEFF II) and the Private Sector Support Facility for Western Balkans (PSSF) respectively.
It is expected that the WeBSEFF II funds will lead to energy savings in both the private and public sectors, helping to modernise businesses, as well as municipal buildings. PSSF funds will meet demand for longer-term financing from local private SMEs to bring their business practices into line with EU regulations.
NLB Tutunska banka is one of the three largest Macedonian banks. It has an extensive national network and experience in working with the EBRD under WeBSEFF I, financing industrial and commercial energy efficiency improvements and small renewable energy production.
The funds from both credit lines can be used with a tenor of up to five years, with an included grace period of up to two years. The maximum loan amount for final beneficiaries of the WeBSEFF II funds is €2 million, and for the PSSF funds it is €1 million. Both loans are supported by EU grant funding for the preparation and implementation of projects.
“The EBRD is delighted to expand its cooperation with NLB Tutunska banka, one of the largest and most stable banks on the Macedonian market. It has maintained solid performance and high standards through the financial crisis period. The cooperation is further expanded through the PSSF Loan, which we believe will be of great benefit to NLB Tutunska banka’s clients in their efforts to improve operations and reach EU standards,” said Anca Ioana Ionescu, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Skopje.
Gjorgji Janchevski, President of the Managing Board of NLB Tutunska banka, said: “It gives us particular pleasure that the EBRD is again proving to be a stable and secure business partner of NLB Tutunska banka, by providing new financial support for loans aimed at energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as well as at projects to advance the competitiveness of Macedonian companies.”
“With the continuous credit support that the EBRD is providing to NLB Tutunska banka, we can maintain our position as a promoter and supporter of growth for companies, by offering competitive credit crafted to market needs. We are also able to create new products dedicated to promoting the competitiveness of companies’ operations,” added Janchevski.
The EBRD began investing in the Macedonian economy in 1993.To date it has signed over 80 projects in the country with a net cumulative business volume of more than €1.1 billion.
The €75 million WeBSEFF II was launched last year, following the success of the €60 million WeBSEFF I. It aims to improve energy supply in eligible countries, through investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The Western Balkans Private Sector Support Facility is a €110 million framework aimed at helping businesses in the region to align with EU standards.