The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank’s Trade Finance Program (TFP) launched its first Bank Internship Program on 13 to 16 November with its first participants, TBC Bank from Georgia, Citi, and Bank Eskhata from Tajikistan as the interning bank.
The Bank Internship Program aims to leverage the expertise and strength of its partner banks for mutual benefit. The program will enable the banking sector to provide more support for trade in developing Asia through capacity building efforts. This initiative is also expected to forge closer regional business links and lead to more intra-regional trade and cooperation, according to ADB.
TBC Bank and Citibank discussed its experiences and business procedures in trade finance with Bank Eskhata, which plans to expand its trade finance business. All three banks are TFP participating banks.
“It’s great to be able to share experiences and exchange knowledge in such a collaborative way for everyone’s benefit,” said Khurshed Nosirov, CEO of Bank Eskhata. “We appreciate this initiative from ADB’s TFP and are pleased to strengthen our ties with TBC Bank. This is the first time Bank Eskhata participates in such a program, which will increase our knowledge and experience and help us in implementing trade finance products to attract new clients while continuing to serve existing clients.”
“TBC Bank is pleased to host ADB’s pilot program in the region. We are the leading bank in Georgia and we are also listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has been a great journey from a small emerging bank to a large institution in a relatively short amount of time. We are pleased to share all our experiences to Bank Eskhata,” said Giorgi Shagidze, Chief Finance Officer at TBC Bank.
“The development of knowledge and expertise through collaborative programs like this are critical to enable growth and economic progress in the region,” said Peadar Mac Canna, Co-Head of EMEA Trade at Citi. “Citi is delighted to continue its partnership with ADB and participating banks like Bank Eskhata and TBC Bank, utilizing our deep and global expertise in trade finance, trade services, and correspondent banking to support the effort.”
“ADB is delighted to hold the TFP’s first Bank Internship Program among valued partner banks, Bank Eskhata, TBC Bank, and Citi,” said Nana Khurodze, TFP Relationship Manager at ADB. “ADB supports Bank Eskhata in its plans to establish a trade finance unit, which will enable it to support more importing and exporting companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tajikistan. Through this activity, Bank Eskhata will be equipped with more knowledge and learn from the experiences shared by TBC Bank and Citi.”
TFP, backed by ADB’s AAA credit rating, provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia to engage in import and export activities. With dedicated trade finance specialists and a 24-hour response time, the program has established itself as a key partner in the international trade community, providing fast, reliable, and responsive support to fill gaps in the region’s most challenging markets.
Since 2009, TFP has supported more than 9,200 small and medium-sized businesses across developing Asia—through over 14,000 transactions valued at over $26 billion—in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods, to medical supplies and consumer goods.
ADB’s TFP has supported over $115.9 million in trade through 66 transactions in Georgia since 2011, 36% of which have been SME-related deals. Meanwhile, TFP has supported over $11.2 million in trade through 19 transactions in Tajikistan since 2011, 68% of which have been SME-related deals.
TFP complements its financial support with a regular series of workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise in trade finance products and operations, risk management, and fraud prevention.
TBC Bank is the number one banking group in Georgia by most key metrics, following the successful acquisition and merger with Bank Republic, including total banking assets, total loans, and deposits which stood at 36.3%, 38%, and 39.8%, respectively, as of 30 June 2017 according to data of National Bank of Georgia. TBC Bank has strong operations across all major market segments in Georgia, serving more than 2 million customers in retail, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and corporate segments as of 30 June 2017. TBC Bank was one of the first banks in Georgia that joined the ADB’s Trade Finance Program in 2011. Through the TFP, TBC Bank has partnered with leading commercial banks worldwide and brought additional trade business for their customers. TBC Bank has won the ADB TFP’s “Leading Partner Bank Award in Georgia” for the 3rd consecutive time this 2017.
OJSC Bank Eskhata is one of the largest participants in the market of banking services in Tajikistan, which provides a full range of main banking operations. Bank Eskhata’s network is formed by 23 branch offices and 302 banking centers across the country. As one of the main tasks, Bank Eskhata sets the maintenance and improvement of developing the financial system in Tajikistan.
Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) enables clients’ success by providing an integrated suite of innovative and tailored cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations, financial institutions, and public sector organizations across the globe. Based on the foundation of the industry’s largest proprietary network with banking licenses in over 100 countries and globally integrated technology platforms, TTS continues to lead the way in offering the industry’s most comprehensive range of digitally enabled treasury, trade, and liquidity management solutions.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.