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IFC Helps Azerbaijan’s AGBank Raise Corporate Governance to International Standards


In Baku:
Rasmina Gurbatova

Phone: (+99412) 497 - 8981

E-mail:
RGurbatova@ifc.org

In Moscow

Nezhdana Bukova

Phone: + 7 495 411 7555

E-mail:
NBukova@ifc.org


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 polices.


“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 practices considerably.”


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.


About IFC

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.