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IFC, EBRD Become Shareholders of Bank of Georgia


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC                                        
Phone: +995 32 223 43 00/01/02                        
E-mail: TBarbakadze@ifc.org

Tbilisi, Georgia, March 29, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and EBRD are deepening their partnership with Bank of Georgia, converting some of their loans to the bank into equity to help the bank strengthen its capital base, increase competitiveness, and expand operations, supporting the financial sector in the country.

The two convertible subordinated loans – $26 million each from IFC and EBRD – were part of a $200 million financing package that the international finance institutions provided to Bank of Georgia in December 2008. As a result of the conversions, IFC and EBRD each become 4.58 percent shareholders in Bank of Georgia, which recently took a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange, LSE.

Irakli Gilauri, Bank of Georgia CEO, said, “Bank of Georgia’s decision to move to premium listing on the LSE was met with strong support from our long-time partners IFC and EBRD. With the premium listing, which is aimed at expanding the exposure to investors and increasing the liquidity of the stock, Bank of Georgia is offering investors high transparency combined with access to the fast-growing and well-regulated Georgian financial services market.”  

The LSE states that premium listing means the company is expected to meet the UK’s highest standards of regulation and corporate governance – and as a consequence may enjoy a lower cost of capital through greater transparency and through building investor confidence.

Paul-Henri Forestier, EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova & Belarus, said, “The EBRD supports Bank of Georgia’s successful premium listing on the London Stock Exchange. The bank is the first Georgian company to receive this recognition on the international capital markets. This provides excellent visibility not only for the bank but for Georgia as well. The EBRD will continue to support the Georgian banking sector.”

Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said, “We have supported the Georgian banking sector during good times and during the most challenging times to help create a stable and strong financial system. By becoming a shareholder of Bank of Georgia we are contributing to broadening access to finance for its clients, small and medium companies, which is crucial for employment and the growth of Georgian economy.”

Bank of Georgia is the leading bank in Georgia, with a 35.6 percent market share in total assets, 34.5 percent market share in total loans, and 35.6 percent market share in client deposits. The bank offers a broad range of corporate banking, retail banking, wealth management, brokerage and insurance services.

About IFC


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About EBRD
The EBRD, owned by 63 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, is an international financial institution that supports projects from central Europe to central Asia and beyond. Investing primarily in private sector clients whose needs cannot be fully met by the market, the Bank fosters transition towards market economies. Follow us on the web, Facebook and Twitter or visit www.ebrd.com

For more information about Bank of Georgia, visit www.bog.ge

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Sophie Balavadze, Bank of Georgia
Phone: +995 32 2444 248
E-mail: sbalavadze@bog.ge

Loretta Martikian, EBRD
Phone : +995 32 2447411
E-mail : MartikianL@ebrd.com