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More than half of North Macedonia’s banks start providing green loans

More than a half of North Macedonia’s banks have launched activities to approve green loans to households and the corporate sector, the central bank said on June 9, citing the results of a survey.

The survey on banks’ business activities and operating risks in 2021 was conducted in the first quarter of 2021.

Green loans account for up to 10% of the total loan portfolio in most of the commercial banks, the central bank said. Some of the banks have also developed a system of identifying environmentally sustainable projects.

In the corporate sector, the green loans were mainly provided to the manufacturing industry, followed by the electricity, gas supply, steam and air conditioning sector as well as transport and storage with a small share of loans provided to construction firms.

According to the survey, banks said that their main challenges during the COVID-19 crisis included difficulties in operations and the sale of products and services to existing and gaining new clients, as well as the delay of planned project activities.

Most of the commercial banks expect to continue supporting small and medium-sized companies via loans, which will also contribute to the economic recovery. They also plans to increase the share of green loans.

In terms of financial results, banks generally have favourable expectations for 2021, despite the uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Macedonia’s banks posted a pre-tax profit of nearly MKD2bn (€32.5mn) at the end of March 2021, up from MKD1.1bn in the same period of 2020.