Funds from the European Investment Bank intended for small- and medium-sized enterprises as response to the crisis are already available to the enterprises. Loan Agreement and Guarantee Agreement were signed today by the Minister of Finance, Trajko Slaveski, EIB representative, Dominique Courbin and Deputy Director of the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion, Kenan Idrizi.

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At the end of August, Minister of Finance expects for the first credits to be extended, however, the disbursements of funds, as he says, depend on the enterprises, the commercial banks and the Macedonian bank for development Promotion. – Ministry of Finance has complete all the activities, and it is now on the other players, Minister Slaveski pointed out, recommending the enterprises to submit well-founded projects to be approved by the commercial banks.
For the time being, it is not known which commercial banks will on-lend the loan funds in the amount of EUR 100 million, but Deputy Director Idrizi said that all banks are negotiated with, and the selection will be made by the European Investment Bank.

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Commercial banks to on-lend the funds will decide which projects to support. Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion, which received the loan from the European Investment Bank, expects fast reply to the requests and approval of the credits. Idrizi pointed out that the loan will contribute to the banks as well, since they will receive the funds with low interest rate and will be able to provide funds for project support, participating with 50% of the total amount.

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The first tranch, as it was underlined, will be with variable interest rate of 2%. Interest rate of the commercial banks for the funds extended to the final beneficiaries will be 6% at the most. The loan will be disbursed in 25 tranches at the most, and the interest rate will be set for each tranch separately, which can be either fixed or variable. Deadline to disburse the loan is 2 years.

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European Investment Bank are also at the position that funds will be of huge benefit to the small- and medium-sized enterprises, which, as Courbin said, face difficulties in receiving financial resources from the banks in times of crises.

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European Investment Bank participates in other projects in Macedonia as well, and Courbin said that all are progressing well. EIB financed part of the Skopje Ring Road, it is interested in participating in the completion of the Corridor 10 project, as well as in water treatment projects.(MIA)

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