North Macedonia - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques
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Methods of Payment: Standard international methods of payment are used in North Macedonia.  For shipments of goods, advance payment is the most commonly used method; credit terms are usually used in long-established relations with known customers.  Credit is allocated on market terms and usually ranges from 30 to 90 days.  Letters of credit and bills of exchange are used in shipment payments.  As with any international transaction, the method of payment is determined by the degree of trust in the buyer’s ability and willingness to pay.  Full payment in advance is highly recommended for the first few transactions and deliveries while the importer is still unknown. 

The debt collection process is time-consuming, expensive, and complex.  There are number of collection agencies.  A creditor may choose to sue the debtor in court; if the court rules in favor of the creditor, the creditor may engage a licensed enforcement agent to collect its due receivables. 

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at  

Banking Systems: The financial system in North Macedonia consists of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia (NBRNM), commercial banks, financial companies, savings houses, exchange offices, the Deposit Insurance Fund, insurance companies, pension funds, investment funds, brokerage firms, and a stock exchange.  The banking system itself is two-tiered, based on the Banking Law and the National Bank Law.  NBRNM is the independent money-issuing institution responsible for price stability, stability of the national currency (denar), stability of the financial system, liquidity of payments within the country and abroad, and the conduct of monetary policy and foreign exchange policy.  The Supervision Department at NBRNM serves as the main regulatory body responsible for the supervision of all banking institutions and savings houses. 

The main goal of NBRNM’s monetary policy is to maintain price stability.  This objective is achieved by an exchange rate targeting strategy, whereby the denar is pegged against the euro as a nominal anchor for the economy.  Twice a year, NBRNM prepares monetary and foreign exchange projections and reports, which are publicly available. 

The banking system in North Macedonia consists of 12 private banks, one state-owned bank (Development Bank of North Macedonia), and two savings houses.  In 2021, the merger of two private banks was completed, and the new joint bank became the fourth largest in the market.  According to the Banking Law, banks observe the principles of profit maximization, liquidity, safety, and profitability.  A foreign bank can have a presence either as a legal entity or by opening a branch or a representative office.  In 2021, foreign capital was present in 12 banks and was dominant in 9 banks, controlling 71.1 percent of total banking sector assets, 80.2 percent of total loans, and 69.4 percent of total deposits.  The operations of non-bank financial institutions are regulated by the provisions of the previous Banking Law and appropriate sub-laws.   

The three largest banks, Komercijalna Banka, NBG Stopanska Banka Skopje, and NLB Bank, hold 58 percent of total assets, 50.3 percent of total loans, and collect 54.8 percent of total deposits.  The five smallest banks, which have individual market shares of less than two percent, account for 6.8 percent of total banking sector assets.  The savings houses’ shares in total assets of deposit-taking institutions in 2021 was 0.3 percent, total loans 0.5 percent, and total household deposits 0.3 percent.  

In 2021, the banking sector continued to face COVID-19-induced challenges but showed adequate response to risks.  It remained stable, while also increasing activities and contributing to mitigating the consequences of the crisis.  Most anti-crisis measures that the NBRNM provided elapsed in the first half of 2021, and the banking sector continued to operate with strong liquidity and regular loan collection. 

In 2021, total deposits increased by 8.8 percent, 2.6 percentage points more than the growth in 2020.  Household deposits grew by 4.5 percent, while enterprise deposits increased by 10.9 percent.  Total loans to enterprises and households grew by 8.5 percent on an annual basis, mostly due to a 9 percent increase in loans to enterprises, while loans to households increased by 8.3 percent.  Banks’ liquid assets in 2021 were 32.4 percent of total assets, almost unchanged compared to the previous year.  The structure of liquid assets remained the same, as banks tend to keep most of their liquidity safe by purchasing treasury bills and bonds, central bank bills, or keeping accounts abroad.  The capital adequacy ratio of the banking sector went up 0.6 percentage points to 17.3 percent at the end of 2021, with all banks maintaining a ratio above the required minimum.  The overall non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was 3.2 percent, dropping 0.2 percentage points from the previous year.  The NPL ratios of the household and corporate sectors were 2 percent and 4.5, percent respectively.   

In 2021 NBRNM conducted different stress-tests on banking sector sensitivity to increase credit risk, liquidity shocks, and insolvency shocks, all of which showed that the banking sector is healthy and resilient to such shocks, with its capital adequacy ratio remaining above the legally required minimum of eight percent.  

Banking supervision is in full compliance with BASEL 2 recommendations, and it is currently implementing provisions of BASEL 3 standards. 

In 2021, total assets of North Macedonia’s banking sector reached $11.61 billion, a 9.1 percentage point increase over 2020.  The banking sector’s overall profitability reached $166.4 million, which was 26.2 percent higher compared to 2020.  Profitability indicators in 2021 improved over the previous year.  ROE (return on equity) reached 12.9 percent, 1.6 percentage points more than in 2020, while ROA (return on assets) jumped 0.2 percentage points to 1.5 percent.  At the end of 2021, the banking sector employed 5,755 people, two more than in 2020.   

Although considerably improved over the past several years, North Macedonia’s financial system is still relatively underdeveloped compared to Western standards.  Banking is very conservative, offering traditional banking services only.  Credit is available to private companies but is still subject to significant collateral in the form of real estate, which often is appraised by the banks at lower than market value, and presents an impediment for start-ups, micro-, small-, and medium-sized companies in their access to financing.  Overall customer service does not meet Western standards.  However, the use of credit cards is widespread, and most companies and shops accept credit cards as a payment instrument. 

After reaching the historic low of 1.25 percent in 2021, the reference rate (interest rate on 28-day central bank bills) went up three times between April and June 2022 to two percent.  The weighted average lending rate of the banking system in 2021 dropped to 4.5 percent, while the weighted average deposit rate dropped to 0.8 percent. 

For more detailed information about various aspects of the banking system and its performance, NBRNM publishes annual and quarterly reports on banking supervision as well as other data and information on its website

Foreign Exchange Controls:  North Macedonia does not restrict reinvestment or repatriation of profits and investment capital.  Foreign investors are entitled to transfer profits and income without a transfer tax.  Investment returns are generally remitted within three working days.  There are also no legal limitations on private financial transfers, foreign exchange transactions, and capital movements.  Local companies can pay for imported goods or services in foreign currencies, as they are allowed to hold a foreign exchange account in one or more banks. 

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks:  There are no U.S. banks present in North Macedonia. 

Major Banks in North Macedonia 

Komercijalna Banka AD 
Orce Nikolov 3 
P. O. Box 563 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-316-8168 
Fax: 389-2-322-0975 

NBG Stopanska Banka AD Skopje 
11 Oktomvri 7 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-329-5295 
Fax: 389-2-311-4503 

NLB Bank 
Mother Teresa 1 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-15-600 
Fax: 389-2-310-5681 

Sparkasse Bank 
Orce Nikolov 54 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-320-0501 
Fax: 389-2-320-0515 

Mito Hadzivasilev Jasmin bb 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-324-0800 
Fax: 389-2-329-6330 

ProCredit Bank 
Manapo bb 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-324-6000 
Fax: 389-2-321-9901 

Sparkasse Bank 
Makedonija 9 – 11 
1000, Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-320-0501 
Fax: 389-2-320-0515 

Development Bank of North Macedonia 
Dimitrie Cupovski 26 
1000 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia 
Tel: 389-2-311-5844 
Fax: 389-2-323-9688 

To access North Macedonia ICS section on financing, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement website.