The European Investment Bank (EIB) and JSC Liberty Bank, signed a Loan Agreement within the framework of the EU4Business Initiative. Funds under this facility will be used to finance Small and Medium Enterprises operating in Georgia.
Following the change of ownership in Liberty Bank in 2017, the new management have embarked on an aggressive business transformation strategy. Key pillars of Liberty Bank’s new targets include:
- Investing in the training of people to provide the best possible client services;
- Promoting a customer focused business model to improve retail, MSME and Corporate customer needs;
- Building strong international partnerships to promote best business practices in Georgia.
The new management believes that Liberty Bank is well positioned to promote financial inclusion across the country, given its unparalleled coverage of Georgia that extends to even the most remote locations of the country. EIB Loan should enable Liberty to continue lending to Georgian SME’s on significantly better terms by, among other things, transferring the financial advantage afforded to Liberty within the framework of EIB facility. Liberty will also receive technical assistance to improve its SME lending practices and product offers under the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund.
Levan Tkhelidze, Deputy General Director of Liberty Bank said: “We are delighted to have an opportunity of working with European Investment Bank. This is yet another major milestone in the development of Liberty Bank and a very strong incentive for the management team to deliver on our stated business objectives. Liberty Bank is uniquely qualified to promote SME lending and EIB loan will deepen our ties with entrepreneurs throughout the country.”
Irakli Rukhadze, Chairman of the Board of Liberty Bank said: “I would like to thank EIB for the confidence it has shown in Liberty Bank. I am confident that this partnership will help the Bank in achieving one its key stated business objective, which is to solidify its position in this very dynamic and important segment of the Georgian Economy”
Lilyana Pavlova, EIB Vice-President commented: “Support to economic development and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth are a key priority of the EU’s work with Georgia, As the EU bank, we are committed to supporting small and medium-sized businesses – but we need the help of local partners to do so. I am therefore happy that we are extending our cooperation with a strong existing partner of the EIB and that we reach out to new institutions as well. SMEs play a significant role in Georgia’s economy and our transactions will pave the way for better business prospects of those companies and the country in general.”
About JSC Liberty Bank:
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's bank. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.
As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but it also supports the EU's external and development policies.
The EIB Group has joined forces with the European Union under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) Initiative East Programme aiming to strengthen economic development in the countries which have signed Association Agreements with the EU – namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – by providing financial and technical support targeted at SMEs in these three countries.
EU4Business is an EU initiative that helps SMEs in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to finance their development and boost economic growth. EU4Business support is delivered by the EIB together with other organisations outside the EU such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. All EU activities that support SMEs in the Eastern Partnership countries are part of EU4Business. The EIB has joined forces with the European Union to strengthen economic development in the countries that have signed Association Agreements with the EU – namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – by providing financial and technical support targeted at SMEs in these three countries. For more information, visit http://www.eu4business.eu