Baku, Azerbaijan, February 5, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is contributing to the development of
Azerbaijan’s banking sector by helping Azerigazbank (AGBank) raise its
corporate governance to international standards and set a benchmark of
good governance for other local financial institutions.
After two years of collaboration with the IFC Corporate Governance Project,
AGBank has raised its charter and by-laws to international standards of
best practice and has significantly improved the composition and performance
of its supervisory board. The bank is also making progress with internal
audit and risk management functions and is establishing dividend and disclosure
“For us, good corporate governance is not only a theory, it is an essential
part of our growth,” said Chingiz Asadullayev, AGBank Supervisory Chairman.
“We are grateful to IFC for enabling us to improve our corporate governance
AGBank is a long-term partner of IFC. As a result of the strong commitment
to improving its governance, the bank became Azerbaijan’s first locally
owned financial institution to attract equity investment from IFC in 2006.
“We commend AGBank for its hard work and significant improvements,” said
Caroline Bright, Manager of IFC’s corporate governance advisory program
in Azerbaijan. “We believe the bank will continue to be a leader in good
corporate governance and hope that other Azerbaijani banks will follow
in its footsteps.”
In 2005, IFC launched the Corporate Governance Project to improve practices
at Azerbaijani joint-stock companies and banks, helping them enhance operations
and increase their ability to attract financing and investment. To date,
the project has trained 360 joint-stock companies and banks and enabled
clients to attract about $18 million in investments due to improved practices.
It also helped the government develop four pieces of legislation, which
have been adopted, and developed a model course that was adopted by five
local universities. The project is supported with funds from the government
of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.