Ukraine, February 14, 2007 -
IFC, the private
sector arm of the World Bank Group, has helped Ukraine’s TAS-Kommerzbank
upgrade its corporate governance, leading to its acquisition by Swedbank.
IFC’s help came through its Ukraine Banking Sector Corporate Governance
project, in which TAS-Kommerzbank
has been a pilot bank. The project is funded by the
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO).
Last week Swedbank, a
Swedish firm, signed an agreement to acquire TAS-Kommerzbank
for $735 million. Headquartered in Kiev, TAS-Kommerzbank
is Ukraine’s thirteenth-largest bank based on total loans and one of the
faster growing in the retail segment. It has 170 branches and 2,300 employees,
serving over 100,000 retail and 9,000 corporate clients.
of TAS-Kommerzbank has been committed to attracting a major injection of
foreign capital. To achieve this, the bank sought to upgrade its internal
operations and procedures, including corporate governance. Since October
2005, IFC has helped the bank improve its corporate governance practices,
and in January 2006, it was accepted into IFC’s Corporate Governance Improvement
Program. Among the conditions to participate were disclosure of beneficial
owners and appointment of at least one independent member to the bank’s
IFC’s corporate governance assessment
was the basis for a detailed work plan to improve the bank’s governance.
IFC’s support for implementation and subsequent training enabled TAS-Kommerzbank
to improve its supervisory and management structure, establish the position
of corporate secretary, and appoint an independent supervisory board member.
The bank also adapted its internal documents to bring them into line with
best practices. IFC also worked to expand the bank’s information disclosure
and improve the quality and transparency of its annual report. As a result,
in 2005, TAS-Kommerzbank won first prize at the All Ukrainian Annual Report
Competition for Banks.
Desmond O’Maonaigh, IFC Project Manager,
commented: “The announcement of the bank’s sale to a Swedish investor
has crowned their efforts to improve corporate governance. We are delighted
to see that our client banks are succeeding in tapping more and more foreign
loans and equity capital. TAS-Kommerzbank is the most recent example of
an IFC project client that has executed an important transaction on very
Swedbank’s purchase price for TAS-Kommerzbank
includes an equity contribution of $50 million, to be made around the time
the transaction closes. At the end of 2006, TAS-Kommerzbank had total assets
of $1.142 billion, loans of $834 million, and deposits of $675 million.
Its equity, including the upcoming contribution from Swedbank, stands at
"We are investing in a bank geared
for rapid growth, with experienced management that is committed to our
agreed strategy,” said Jan Lidén, CEO of Swedbank.
"TAS is yet another step in Swedbank’s
growth, following our success in the Baltic countries. Ukraine is an important
tiger economy, with impressive growth rate and positive development,”
said Carl Eric Stĺlberg, Executive Chairman of Swedbank.
TAS-Kommerzbank’s CEO, Sergiy Tigipko,
has over 14 years of top-level banking experience and will continue to
act as CEO, with overall responsibility for the bank’s business and development.
He formerly served as the governor of Ukraine’s central bank as well as
its minister of economy and vice prime minister. Mr. Tigipko will report
directly to Swedbank CEO Jan Lidén, who will serve as the new chairman
"This transaction underlines the
achievements made by our management team and employees in transforming
TAS into one of the fastest growing banks in Ukraine. Our integration into
Swedbank enhances our ability to become a market leader in Ukraine, said
The transaction is subject to customary
regulatory approvals. Completion is expected during the second half of
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners
in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs
(SECO) is the Swiss Confederation's competence centre (www.seco.admin.ch)
for all core issues related to the economic policy and for sustainable
economic development including the integration of developing and transition
countries into the global economy. SECO's aim is to create the basic regulatory
and economic policy conditions to enable business to flourish for the benefit
of all. In terms of foreign trade policy, SECO is active in the shaping
of efficient, fair and transparent rules for the world economy. SECO also
represents Switzerland in the large multilateral trade organizations as
well as in international negotiations.