11th October 2022, Skopje – Government completed the entire financing of this year’s Budget, with over EUR 40 million being saved as a result of the prudent debt portfolio management in times of crisis and global growth of interest rates. During his guest appearance on Sitel TV News, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, pointed out that the costs of the capital to finance the budget deficit and the prior debts falling due are provided under the most favorable terms and conditions, resulting from the Government’s commitment to providing capital in a timely manner, for the purpose of financing the anti-crisis measures, as well the other budge needs such as the increased pensions, social assistance, minimum wage, agricultural subsidies also including the support to companies provided during the ongoing crisis.
Under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line, for which IMF staff gave green light today, thereby indicating that such financial instrument is made available only to countries with sound economic fundamentals and policies, thus completing the required financing of this year’s Budget.
“Throughout the year since the outset of the crisis, we have been seeking most favorable conditions for financing the Budget, being better than those in case of issuance of a potential Eurobond, when the interest rate would have ranged around 8%-8.5%. We estimated that the terms and conditions would not have been favourable if Eurobond was issued, as was the case with the countries in the region, given the high interest rates reaching up to even 11%. However, optimal portfolio has been put into place, as per the maturity and the low costs thereof. Germen registered notes, known as NSV have been issued for the first time in our country, amounting to EUR 250 million, with 3.75% interest rate plus 6-month EURIBOR, coupled by the IMF Precautionary and Liquidity Line, with the interest rate accounting for around 1% plus interest on SDR. EUR 50 million has been provided via Sparkasse Bank, with 1.15% interest and 12-month EURIBOR. Funds at а weighted interest of approximately 2.6% have been provided via the government securities issued on the domestic market, all this being accompanied by the funds that we have been using as a deposit since last year, amounting to EUR 250 million with an interest of 1.6%. “On average, together with the previous year’s deposit, interest rate of 3.3% was attained, Besimi pointed out.
Minister assessed that today’s announcement by the IMF, pertaining to the funds amounting to EUR 530 million under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line – PLL, is a clear and positive signal of our policies being beneficial for the foreign investors. He thereby stressed that this financial instrument is made available only to countries with sound macroeconomic policies.
During his interview, Minister also pointed out that there are sufficient Budget funds for covering the need of the state, as well as for the measures aimed at cushioning the effects of the crisis. However, he pointed out that the ongoing global economic crisis is one of the most severe ones since the Second World War onwards, and that the possibility for covering the entire shock through the Budget, without thereby saving electricity by each and every one of us, is impossible.
Minister also touched upon the new set of measures, not being the first set aimed at coping with the energy and the price crisis, thereby stressing that such measures and policies are being adopted on continuous basis.