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North Macedonian SMEs to benefit from €4m green loans


Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Wednesday, June 1st 2022 à 11:35 | Read 305 times



The president of Stopanska Banka, Diomidis Nikoletopoulos, and the president of the EBRD, Odile Renaud-Basso, sign a €4 million loan to help SMEs in North Macedonia (photo: EBRD)
The president of Stopanska Banka, Diomidis Nikoletopoulos, and the president of the EBRD, Odile Renaud-Basso, sign a €4 million loan to help SMEs in North Macedonia (photo: EBRD)
NORTHERN MACEDONIA. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) granted a €4m credit line to Stopanska Banka on Tuesday 31 May 2022. The bank will redistribute this envelope in the form of loans to SMEs in Northern Macedonia.

The financing will be used to "stimulate investment by SMEs in high-performance standards, technologies and services, thus enabling them to become more competitive", says an EBRD press release. They will also benefit small businesses to help them restart their activities after the Covid-19 pandemic. "Recovery from the pandemic is slow and difficult, but it provides an opportunity to rethink and restructure the business, making it more sustainable for the future, which is exactly what this programme aims to do," said Diomidis Nikoletopoulos.

Stopanska Banka will therefore give priority to loans for energy efficiency improvements. About 70% of the programme's funds will be allocated to investments in energy saving and green technologies, while the rest will support investments in automation, productivity increase, product quality and safety.
 

Possible subsidies for SMEs

"SMEs are the backbone of local economies. They provide jobs and opportunities for local communities. Supporting them is one of the EBRD's main priorities in the economies where it invests," commented Odile Renaud-Basso. For the EBRD President, "this is particularly necessary after the slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the current disruption in world trade. We hope that this new financing will help many companies to recover and restart their activity, while supporting the ecological transition."

Smes are also eligible for grants of up to 15% of their loan amount. They will be financed mainly by Luxembourg, Norway and the US.

Established in 1944 and based in Skopje, Stopanska Banka is 94.6% owned by the National Bank of Greece.

To date, the EBRD has invested over €2.2 billion in Northern Macedonia in 158 projects.



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