The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are promoting private sector participation in the Uzbek banking sector by acquiring shares in TBC Bank Uzbekistan (TBC UZ), a subsidiary of TBC Bank Group, the largest banking group in Georgia.
Two institutional investors – EBRD and IFC plan to acquire stakes of up to 20% each in TBC Uzbekistan. The investment will further boost the operating activities of this newly established private player in the market and advance international corporate governance standards in the sector.
The first installment will be $9.4 million for each of the two investors with the intention to support further capital increases during 2022-2024.
Alkis Drakinos, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Uzbekistan, stressed that this is the first equity investment in the banking sector in Uzbekistan since the renewal of the EBRD’s cooperation with the country in 2017.
“We have a long history of successful cooperation with the IFC and EBRD, who have supported us for two decades. I am extremely grateful to the EBRD and IFC for starting this exciting new phase of our journey together. This joint activity marks another important milestone in our expansion in Uzbekistan, enabling us to accelerate our growth in the country and expand the range of innovative and affordable products to the people of Uzbekistan. TBC UZ successfully operates on the basis of our innovative fintech platform Space, which offers retail banking solutions through a mobile application,” Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, CEO of TBC Bank, said.
“We continue to develop our partnership with TBC Bank Group. IFC supports TBC’s efforts to expand banking services based on innovative and technological solutions throughout Uzbekistan. These investments are also part of our strategy aimed at helping Uzbekistan to increase competitiveness by increasing the participation of the private sector in the banking sector,” Wiebke Schloemer, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, noted.
TBC Uzbekistan positions itself as the first digital bank in Uzbekistan, which began operations in October 2020. Today it operates through 7 branches and 34 “customer activation points” in the country’s 12 cities. TBC UZ provides innovative financial products to over 630,000 registered retail users. In the near future, it is planned to expand the small business segment.
TBC Bank Group is a public LLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, the holding company of TBC Bank JSC and a group of companies that mainly operate in Georgia in the financial sector and other closely related areas.