The EBRD considers lending up to EUR3m to Sparkasse Banka Makedonija, the local unit of Austria’s Steiermaerkische Bank und Sparkasse, according to an EBRD statement. The funds will be distributed as long-term housing loans to local citizens by the unit. The loan proceeds also aim to bolster the competitiveness of the unit by supporting the expansion of its retail loan portfolio. We recall that Steiermaerkische Bank und Sparkasse completed in early November the purchase of 91.57% of Ohridska Banka, the local unit of French bank Societe Generale. Sparkasse Banka Makedonija and Ohridska Banka are expected to complete their merger by 2021 and the new lender to become the 4th largest in the country with an estimated market share of 12-13%.