TBC Bank Achieves Inclusion in the FTSE 250 Index on the London Stock Exchange

Following the news of TBC Bank’s recent inclusion in the FTSE 250 Index, GEORGIA TODAY met with Giorgi Shagidze, TBC Bank’s Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO, to talk about what the new achievement means for TBC Bank. As Georgia’s number one bank across all key metrics, TBC Bank is a key player in the Georgian financial market, so we were keen to discuss its development goals and strategic objectives.

TBC Bank first entered the LSE in 2014 and joined its premium segment in the summer of 2016. Its current market capitalization is approximately GPB 900 million, with average daily traded volume amounting to GPB 1, 300.000 by value.

What does it mean to be on the FTSE 250 Index?

The FTSE 250 is the next tier of companies listed on the Premium Segment of the LSE by market capitalization, below those included in the FTSE 100. The fact that TBC Bank is now one of the top 350 companies in the UK is a strong vindication of our growth strategy and the value that the market attaches to that. We anticipate that this will give the shares added stability, as well as greater liquidity for investors. It also underlines that fact that TBC Bank continues to comply with the highest standards of financial management, corporate governance and transparency, which are essential for maintaining a Premium Listing.

What are the major benefits of being in the FTSE 250, both for the Bank and its clients?

For TBC Bank, it expands the base of potential shareholders, which is expected to have a positive impact on our liquidity and share price volatility. This could be extended to the overall lowering cost of capital. This lower cost of funding can be potentially passed on to our clients in the form of lower loan pricing.

What are your expectations and plans for the future?

We will continue to invest in new technology products and services, specifically in mobile banking and internet banking which are already regarded as the best, not only in Georgia, but in the entire region. At the same time, we will continue to introduce even more innovative financial products. We have started selling TBC Insurance products and have ambitious plans to further introduce them to our customers. We continue to improve our services and take them to even higher levels.

Summarize the Capital Market Day recently held and attended in London

Our Capital Markets Day is an annual event to which we invite investors and analysts to London from the all over the world. From Georgia, all TBC Bank management members were present. Mr Koba Gvenetadze, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia, opened the event and made an introductory presentation on the economic environment and macro-economic policy. He was followed by each member of the management team, who presented on their respective business areas.

Overall, the event provided an excellent opportunity for existing and potential investors and analysts to gain first-hand information on TBC Bank’s operational environment, our development goals and recent financial results. The day went extremely well, with around 100 attendees and a significant number also following via the webcast. A full replay of the event is available on our website.

What are the key factors that convince investors to be interested in Georgia and its banking sector?

It is widely acknowledged that Georgia maintains a unique position in terms of attracting overseas investment. The environment in Georgia is extremely investor-friendly, with low taxation, prudent regulation and ease of doing business are only some of the many positive factors. Secondly, the current strong economic trends play a very important role. If we look at the positive first quarter economic statistics, we can see strong growth, and that remains a very important factor for investors. The banking sector plays a leading role in the Georgian economy, and for foreign equity investors, the LSE-listed shares of the two leading Georgian banks are the easiest way for them to invest in our growth story.

TBC BANK received a 45 million Lari loan from Symbiotics, a leading investment company. What will it be used for?

The loan will be used to support small, micro and medium size businesses in Georgia, in accordance with our stated strategy.

Furthermore, the loan is denominated in Georgian Lari, which is very important for businesses. I would like also to highlight that Symbiotics has shown confidence in the Georgian Lari and overall economy by issuing the loan in Lari, without directly hedging it on the local market.

Is TBC Bank planning to acquire more resources in Lari?

Definitely, as it remains our main source of funding. Over the last three years we have been very active in making us a market leader, and we are intending to continue to acquire additional resources in Lari. Of course, we are also expecting to continue our partnership with Symbiotics.

Nino Gugunishvili

19 June 2017 17:21