The FINANCIAL — As a member of the World Bank Group, International Financial Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with Basisbank, which aims to support small and medium businesses. Specifically, the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises and trade operations, which will enable companies to expand their activities, create job opportunities and monitor new markets.
“With the help of IFC we’ll have the opportunity to provide our customers, actively involved in international trade, export and import operations, with the best opportunity for their business expansion. It’s important that this direction is one of the priorities for Basisbank,” said David Tsaava, General Director of Basisbank.
“With over 25 years of experience, many businesses have been promoted with our support. It is important that our international partners, IFC, have joined us and are giving us the opportunity to offer even more favourable conditions. I’m sure our partnership will start very successfully today and will be very productive and useful for our customers,” said Tsaava.
Basisbank has also joined IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP). As part of the deal, IFC will provide the bank with a trade finance guarantee line of USD 2 million. The program will help facilitate its clients boost cross-border trade, economize savings, and at the same time maintain transactions securely.
The GTFP supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions. It has an international network of more than 500 bank partners in 150 countries, helping SMEs access the global trading system, and has supported more than USD 64 billion in trade in the last 13 years.
IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, Jan Van Bilsen, focused on the main goal of the agreement and said: “Access to trade finance is vital for businesses that depend on cross-border trade to remain viable and seek new opportunities for growth. Our cooperation with Basisbank is part of our wider efforts to support private sector growth in Georgia. The USD 10 million loan which IFC will allocate to BasisBank will be used for financing working capital for exporters and importers, and it will help to increase the economy of the country.”
The signing ceremony was attended by the President of the National Bank Koba Gvenetadze, who significantly evaluated the cooperation between IFC and Basisbank. “A global organization like IFC is starting work with another commercial bank in Georgia. This means that there is trust in the banking sector as well as the financial system in Georgia,” said Gvenetadze.
“It is very pleasant for us that the Bank is active in the field of SME financing, because we think that it should be the main power of the economy today. The National Bank of Georgia is actively supervising the activities of Basisbank. Basisbank is facing the challenges and I am sure that in the future the bank will also be able to attract resources and increase the portfolio to finance small and medium businesses,” Gvenetadze mentioned.
The total volume of the two agreements between IFC and Basisbank consists of USD 12 million, which allows them to finance companies in Georgia for up to 3 years.
Georgia became an IFC member in 1995. Since then, IFC has committed around USD 1,83 billion in long-term financing, including nearly USD 940 million in mobilization, in 59 projects in financial services, agribusiness, manufacturing, and infrastructure. IFC has also supported more than USD 385 million in trade through its trade finance program, and implemented advisory projects to help develop the private sector.
IFC – a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group – is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works with more than 2 000 businesses worldwide, using their capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, IFC delivered a record USD 19,3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Basisbank is a fast growing, internationally recognized mid-sized banking institution operating in Georgia with a strong market reputation and solid international support. Headquartered in Tbilisi, Basisbank’s operations span Georgia’s most economically active regions, through a network of 22 branches and its 416-strong sales force. In 2012 Hualing Group, the largest conglomerate in China, acquired 90 percent of Basisbank’s shares, subsequently increasing this to 92.78 percent in 2014.