The primary, legally determined objective of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia is maintaining price stability. Additionally, the Law on the National Bank stipulates another objective of the National Bank, subordinated to the main objective, which is to contribute to the maintaining of a stable, competitive and market-oriented financial system. In order to meet these legally prescribed objectives, the National Bank closely monitors the developments in the country and in the neighborhood, and takes measures, if needed.
Starting from today's decision of the European Central Bank to freeze the level of emergency liquidity support having regard to the termination of the EU Adjustment Program for Greece and the risk of Greece's default on the debt maturing on June 30, after the Greek government decided to organize a referendum on the terms of its program with creditors that actually means exclusion of Greek banks from the European Central Bank's Emergency Liquidity Assistance Program - ELA and possible introduction of capital controls in Greece, the National Bank takes preventive measures for managing capital flows of the Republic of Macedonia. Those are protective measures of a temporary character, introduced to prevent the threat from any significant outflows of capital from the Republic of Macedonia toward our southern neighbor causing significant disturbance to the balance of payments and undermining the stability of the financial system. These measures further strengthen the resilience of the financial system to external factors.
Preventive measures pertain to a restriction of capital outflows from residents of the Republic of Macedonia (natural persons and legal entities) to Greek entities based on newly concluded capital transactions, but not to a restriction of the outflows based on incoming payments for capital transactions already concluded.
The intention of the preventive measures is to limit only the capital outflows to the Republic of Greece and to entities from the Republic of Greece (such as outflows for founding of a company, investing in securities, investing in units of investment funds, investing in investment gold, financial credits, long-term loans, etc.) but not to block or in any way impede current and future commercial operations with entities from the Republic of Greece.
Therefore, current transactions remain free: no restrain is imposed on private transfers or transactions based on the exchange of goods and services, the common banking payment instruments and credit instruments linked to the turnover of goods and services between residents and entities of the Republic of Greece (such as payment on the basis of import, letters of credit, guarantees, transport services, tourist travel and other travel, etc.). Also, in order to maintain the security of foreign investors regarding the exercising of their rights to their property in the Republic of Macedonia, outflows based on realized dividends have not been restricted either.
Furthermore, in order to secure the funds that domestic banks have in the banks in the Republic of Greece, Macedonian banks are required to withdraw all loans and deposits from banks based in the Republic of Greece and their branches and subsidiaries in the Republic of Greece or abroad, regardless of the agreed maturity. However, in order to allow smooth functioning of payment operations for the transactions that are not prohibited, an exception to this requirement has been made for the funds on the current (correspondent) accounts with those banks.
Existing prudential and supervisory measures and limits for banks in terms of investments in securities including Greek securities (the requirement to allocate a higher percentage of provisions for the placements with countries and entities in countries with a lower credit rating than the specified and the limit on the exposure of our banks to their parent entities in the amount of up to 10% of the own funds) are complemented with an explicit ban on all residents to invest in Greek securities (securities issued by the central bank, central government, local and regional authorities in the Republic of Greece, as well as securities issued by legal entities established in the Republic of Greece and their branches and subsidiaries in the Republic of Greece and abroad).
Introduced preventive measures are temporary, so that their validity is for a maximum period of six months.
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