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
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.
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.
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