TBC Bank’s Uzbek push gets major institutional backing

Published: November 19, 2021

Georgia’s TBC Bank marked a year of its debut international business expansion into Uzbekistan with major partnerships from institutional investors, with further international markets now potentially in the bank’s sights.

London-listed TBC Bank, Georgia’s largest bank, celebrated a year of Uzbekistan operations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Finance Corporation buying stakes in TBC Bank Uzbekistan.

“Having EBRD and IFC partnership, it is a guarantee for success,” said Nika Kurdiani, deputy chief executive officer of TBC Bank and head of the Uzbekistan venture. “It shows that TBC is doing the right thing, has the right strategy. Whenever you go to a potential partner, it is a signal that this is an institution that will create value.”

TBC Bank launched its Uzbekistan operations in October 2020, and the EBRD and IFC announcement came in September 2021. The two institutional investors are planning to buy up to 20% each of TBC Uzbekistan. The first cash injection will be US$9.4mn each from the two investors, with more capital increases due between 2022 and 2024. 

This investment is “well aligned with our strategy to help Uzbekistan promote greater market competitiveness through increasing the share of private-sector participation in the banking industry,” said Wiebke Schloemer, director for Europe and Central Asia at the IFC. 

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