Related News

The EBRD is lending FYR Macedonia’s Tutunska Banka, majority-owned by Slovenia’s largest bank, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, €
20mn to help meet entrepreneurs “and private businesses “growing demands for finance. The bank will syndicate €
13mn to a number of international banks, the first syndication in the country since 1998.

Kurt Geiger, business group director for financial institutions at the EBRD, says this is a landmark transaction for FYR Macedonia since it is the first international syndication of a Macedonian bank, attracting the participation of 10 international banks. The funds will be used to provide finance to the growing private sector in FYR Macedonia, which is crucial for economic growth, Geiger adds.

Established in 1985, Tutunska Bank is one of the largest banks in FYR Macedonia, employing more than 280 staff in 21 branches across the country. A majority stake in the bank was acquired by Nova Ljubljanska Banka in 2000 as part of its strategy to expand in south-eastern Europe.
Gjorgji Jancevski, first general manager of Tutunska Banka, says one of the bank’s strategies has been to appear in the international financial markets, and by working with the EBRD and NLB, we have achieved this. This project is not only a success for Tutunska Banka, but also for the country both in respect of access to additional financial sources and the positive signal of the EBRD and other western European banks towards local banks and the economy, says Jancevski.

This latest EBRD loan builds on previous cooperation between the two institutions, when in 2000 TB received €
3mn in backing from the bank’s Trade Facilitation Programme, which supports international trade transactions of its customers. In 2002 the EBRD acquired a 5% stake in NLB to support its privatisation, which is 34% owned by Belgium’s KBC.

The EBRD is the largest investor in FYR Macedonia, having committed more than €
372mn in 23 projects across the country in sectors ranging from banking to power and agribusiness to transport.