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SKOPJE (Macedonia), November 8 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday that it is providing a 10 million euro ($11.4 million) loan to Sparkasse Banka Makedonija to boost lending to the country’s privately owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The EBRD loan is backed by an additional 1.5 million euro grant from the EU, delivered under the bloc's Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), the EBRD said in a statement.
The funds are intended to finance projects envisaging upgrades of production facilities to improve the competitiveness of local companies, with at least 60% of the funds aimed at reducing energy and resource use and associated costs.
In June, the EBRD provided a 10 million euro loan to Macedonia's Ohridska Banka [MSE:OHB] for the same purposes.
SMEs account for 65% of the total value-added and about 80% of all jobs in Macedonia, according to EU figures, cited by the EBRD.
($ = 0.8755 euro)