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IFC, Stopanska Banka Partner to Expand Trade Finance for Small Businesses in FYR Macedonia

Skopje, FYR Macedonia, May 17, 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Stopanska banka AD – Skopje, a member of NBG Group, have joined forces to expand trade finance in the FYR Macedonia to help small and medium enterprises move into new markets and create jobs.  
Stopanska banka has signed on as an issuing bank in IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), which supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions backed by IFC’s triple-A rating.
Stopanska banka provides financing to support the exports and imports of its corporate and small and medium enterprise clients. Access to trade finance is essential for small and medium enterprises that depend on cross-border trade to remain viable and seek new opportunities for growth in overseas markets.  
“Trade finance is a key segment in our corporate banking strategy, and the Global Trade Finance Program is a natural choice for a partnership,” said Gligor Bishev, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stopanska Banka. “As an issuing bank under this program, Stopanska banka will contribute to economic growth in the country by sustaining the involvement of smaller companies in international trade.”
Georgina Baker, IFC Director of Global Trade and Supply Chain Solutions, said, “As access to credit tightens, IFC is quickly responding by deploying its resources to enable continued flows of global trade. As a GTFP issuing bank, Stopanska banka will expand trade finance in FYR Macedonia, helping businesses reach new markets and create jobs.”
Since its inception in 2005, IFC’s award-winning GTFP has issued more than 12,000 guarantees totaling $17 billion on trade-related payment obligations in emerging markets. Most significantly, in fiscal year 2011, 53 percent of the program’s total volume was to support trade in the world’s poorest countries, and 79 percent went to small and medium enterprises. The program includes more than 200 partner banks in over 90 emerging-market countries.  
FYR Macedonia became a shareholder and member of IFC in 1993. IFC’s portfolio in the country stands at $104 million. IFC is focusing its investments on increasing access to finance by supporting the development of local financial institutions. IFC Advisory Services aim to improve the performance of private sector companies and attract private sector participation in infrastructure projects.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
To learn more about Stopanska banka AD – Skopje, a member of NBG Group, visit
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