* Macedonia economy to stagnate in 2012, rise 2.6 pct in
2013 -cbank governor
* Exports to rise 10 pct next year thanks to new investment
* Macedonia negotiates 200-250 mln euro loan with World Bank
By Daria Sito-Sucic
SARAJEVO, Nov 22 Macedonia's central bank has
cut its 2012 economic growth forecast to zero from 2.4 percent
because of the euro zone crisis but sees growth of 2.6 percent
in 2013, its governor said on Thursday.
"The decline this year has been mainly influenced by the
European crisis and recession," central bank chief Dimitar Bogov
told Reuters on the sidelines of a financial conference.
The euro zone accounts for 60 percent of total exports from
the landlocked former Yugoslav republic situated north of
However, Bogov said he expected the economy to pick up next
year after the opening of automotive industry plants by U.S. and
British investors and the launch of new infrastructure projects.
"We expect a major rise of exports, around 10 percent, as a
result of these new capacities mainly in car industries," he
Macedonian exports were worth $4.4 billion exports in 2011
but only $2.9 billion for the first nine months of 2012.
Bogov said the central bank now expected external demand for
2012, as measured by the value of exports, to dip by 0.4 percent
versus last year's level. Previously the bank forecast a 1.8
According to Bogov, the car industry accounts for 16.5
percent of Macedonian exports, and that the figure was expected
to rise with new investment to around 40 percent in the next few
The governor said Macedonia's banking sector was well
protected against deleveraging but the real sector has seen
outflow of capital, mainly to neighbouring Greece.
"Greece was among major investors in the past decade but we
now have outflow of capital from Macedonia to Greece, mainly
from the non-financial sector," Bogov said.
He said Greek-owned companies operating in Macedonia were
taking profits back to Greece through dividends and loans to
their parent companies.
"We don't see deleveraging from the banking sector because
we have ring-fencing," Bogov said. Banks in Macedonia have a
limit of exposure of 10 percent of their total capital.
Bogov said the government was negotiating with the World
Bank a new loan of 200-250 million euros, under which the World
Bank would provide part of the loan and guarantee repayment for
the part which Macedonia would seek from private banks.
"The government has already made offers to several banks,
and if everything goes according to the plan we can expect the
deal in January or February next year," he said.
Macedonia last year clinched a debut World Bank-guaranteed
130 million euro international syndicated loan with Citigroup
and Deutsche Bank as arrangers.
It also has a 480 million euro precautionary loan with the
International Monetary Fund, from which it has drawn 200 million
Bogov said public debt currently amounted to 30 percent of
Gross Domestic Product, steadily rising from 20 percent in 2008.
The government targets a budget deficit of 3.5 percent of GDP in
2013, the same as this year, but wants the gap to narrow
significantly in 2014, he said without elaborating.
(Reporting By Daria Sito-Sucic; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic
and Stephen Nisbet)