Bank of Georgia Group PLC («the Group») announces that JSC Bank of Georgia (the “Bank” or “Bank of Georgia”) and the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”) have signed a GEL 100 million loan agreement with a maturity of 5 years.
The facility will support the local currency needs of Georgian micro, small and medium sized enterprises. The investment is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, a pioneering global initiative by IFC and Goldman Sachs Foundation to expand access for women entrepreneurs. Under the facility, 25% of the loan is dedicated to serve female entrepreneurs. IFC will raise the local currency funds through a private placement of GEL-denominated bonds to be arranged by Galt & Taggart — a wholly owned brokerage subsidiary of the Group.
Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus commented: “IFC is working with Bank of Georgia, our long-standing client, to help expand access to local currency financing, which is critical for the growth of smaller businesses. Those businesses are the engines of economic growth and women entrepreneurs are especially underserved. We aim to ensure all smaller firms get the access to finance they need to grow, create jobs, and drive economic growth.”
Cristina Shapiro, Global Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women commented: “We are committed to expanding access to finance and business education for women-owned businesses. This partnership allows us to work with an experienced local institution to help more women-owned enterprises grow and close the $2.1 billion finance gap in Georgia.”
Archil Gachechiladze, Bank CEO commented: “I am delighted to see that Bank of Georgia has once again joined forces with IFC to take our long-standing partnership one step further with a major cooperation on local currency facility. GEL-denominated funds from IFC will enable us to increase lending to micro, small and medium sized business segment where we see significant opportunities for high quality loan book growth and for positive impact that the access to local currency financing will have on our business clients. The support provided by IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility provides us with an important tool to boost our support to female-led enterprises. Amid further de-dollarisation of the Georgian economy, this local currency facility will further strengthen our position as a leading local currency lender on the Georgian market.”