EBRD, donors and ProCredit Bank boost funding for businesses in North Macedonia

By Bojana Vlajcic

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  • EBRD credit line of €2 million to ProCredit Bank in North Macedonia
  • New finance for SME investments in sustainable, green technologies
  • Loans supported by donor-funded incentive grants

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and donors are stepping up support for local businesses in North Macedonia by extending a new €2 million credit line to ProCredit Bank.

ProCredit Bank will on-lend the funds to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support their investments in green technologies and other investments that will help them to reboot their businesses following the pandemic.

The SMEs will also benefit from grant incentives worth up to 15 per cent of the loan amount. The grants will be funded by Luxembourg, Norway and the United States of America, with other donors expected to participate.

Andi Aranitasi, EBRD Head of North Macedonia, said: “We are committed to supporting local small businesses with well-structured finance and know-how to help them grow and become more competitive. With this specialised credit line, ProCredit Bank can help the SMEs of North Macedonia to invest in modern, energy-saving technologies which can help them reduce their production costs and improve the quality of their products and services.” 

Emilija Spirovska, Member of the Management Board of ProCredit Bank in North Macedonia, said: “We are pleased that with the EBRD’s SME Reboot Programme credit line, ProCredit Bank can help small and medium-sized enterprises to invest in green technologies and other investments that will help them reboot their businesses in the post-pandemic period, which is in line with our commitment to contribute to the development of sustainable businesses.”   

The credit line is part of the EBRD’s new SME Reboot Programme that supports small firms’ recovery from the pandemic-induced slowdown. It will also aid the expansion of the green economy in North Macedonia by promoting investments in energy efficiency improvements. Around 70 per cent of programme funding will be allocated to investments in energy-saving and green technologies, while the remainder will support investments in automation, increased productivity, product quality and safety.

A long-standing partner of the EBRD, ProCredit Bank was founded in 2003 and is now the sixth largest bank in North Macedonia, with a market share of 5.5 per cent by total assets. However, as the bank specialises in SME lending, its market share in terms of loans to SMEs stands at 14 per cent.

The EBRD is a major institutional investor in North Macedonia. To date, it has invested more than €2.2 billion in 160 projects in various sector of economy.

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