—Erste Bank, EBRD, and IFC invest in Stopanska
Banka a.d. Skopje—
SKOPJE, MACEDONIA , June 10, 1998--- The International Finance Corporation,
Erste Bank der Oesterreichischen Sparkassen A.G. and the European Bank
for Reconstruction Development (EBRD), signed agreements today to acquire
55 percent of Stopanska Banka a.d. Skopje (SB), FYR Macedonia’s largest
financial intermediary. This financing of SB completes its privatization
As part of the privatization, Erste Bank will take a 25 percent stake in
Stopanska, while the EBRD and IFC will each purchase a 15 percent stake.
In addition, the new investors will provide Stopanska with DM 50 million
(ECU 25.4 million) in long-term loans for on-lending to private investors
in FYR Macedonia. This is the largest foreign direct investment in the
country since its independence.
FYR Macedonia’s leading bank Stopanska Banka’s new management and ownership
transfer represents an important step in the government’s economic reform
plan. The privatization should improve the Bank’s corporate governance,
overall management systems and controls, and help to restore confidence
in the financial sector. This, in turn, is likely to have a positive impact
on the non-financial sector, domestic savings, and economic growth.
The financing will enhance Stopanska’s capacity for long-term lending
and enable it to address the financing needs of private FYR Macedonian
companies. Furthermore, technical assistance by Erste Bank will bring
Stopanska in line with international standards and help raise the overall
level of service in the banking sector by reducing systemic risk.
The agreements were signed by Mr. Rudolf Penz, Erste Board Member for International
Business, Ms. Dragica Pilipovic Chaffey, Co-Director for Financial Institutions
at the EBRD, and Ms. Carol Lee, Vice President and General Counsel for
IFC. Representing the Macedonian side were Mr. Ljubomir Popovski, General
Director of Stopanska Banka AD Skopje, Mr. Taki Fiti, Minister of Finance,
Mr. Ljube Trpeski, Governor of the Central Bank, and Mr. Dzevdet Hajredini,
Director of the Bank Rehabilitation Agency.
Erste Bank, based in Vienna, is Austria’s second largest bank. It focuses
on retail banking and is active in a number of European countries. It has
plans for expansion into Eastern Europe, and acquisition of Stopanska is
a key part of that strategy.
The EBRD was established in 1991 following the collapse of communism, to
aid the transition from centrally planned to market economies in central
and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The
EBRD is owned by 60 shareholders: 58 countries, the European Investment
Bank and the European Community. It operates with ECU 20 billion in authorized
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector divestments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.
Erste Bank in Vienna
Phone: 00431.531.00 ext. 9603
E-mail: Michael.Mauritz@ erstebank.at
EBRD in London