Macedonia Banking System Stable

Skopje – Macedonia’s banking system remains stable and continues its dynamic growth, the National Bank of Macedonia said on Thursday, pointing to a rise in banks’ assets and profits in the first months of this year.

The National Bank of Macedonia came to this conclusion at a session aimed at reviewing the banking system and its supervision for the first quarter of 2008, local media reported. It said banks’ solvency remains relatively high.

During the first quarter this year Macedonian banks increased their overall assets by nearly 8 per cent when compared to the same quarter a year ago, and hold more than €3.90 billion, the bank said.

The total profit of the banks during the same period was around €40 million, which is an increase by over 12 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2007.

This report comes at a time when many wonder how the world’s economic crisis will hit Macedonia. Several banks in the country have so far said they have noted a slight increase in the amounts of withdrawals, but they say this will not affect their work. Central bank officials have not yet commented on the crisis directly.

The effects of the world crisis have so far been most visible among country’s metal and textile industries due to the lower demand for their products on the world market.

At the beginning of the week country’s stock market index MBI 10, made up of the ten strongest companies, plummeted to its lowest level ever. On Monday it lost nearly 9 per cent of its value.

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