WASHINGTON, D.C., November 24, 1998 ---
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International
Finance Corporation (IFC) are disappointed by the withdrawal of Erste Bank
of Austria from the recent agreement to provide equity investment and a
term loan to Stopanska Banka a.d., the largest bank in the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia.
Signed on 10 June 1998, the DM 81.8 million (US$47.8 million) joint financing
package with the two institutions comprised a DM 31.8 million (US$18.6
million) equity investment and a DM 50 million (US$29.2 million)
The EBRD and the IFC are examining alternatives to help Stopanska Banka
in its privatisation and restructuring programme.
Both the EBRD and the IFC remain committed to FYR Macedonia and will continue
to support the country's financial sector.