Azerbaijan, Baku, May 25 / Trend /
AccessBank today announced that the General Assembly of Shareholders on 26 April approved proposed adjustments to the Shareholder Structure of AccessBank, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic, the bank said today.
Under the proposed changes, the share held by each shareholder will be adjusted - there will be no new shareholders and all the existing shareholders will continue to remain as shareholders.
Under the proposal the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and KfW - the Development Bank of the German State, would each reduce their shareholdings by 7.55 percentage points to 12.45% of the total each, from a current level of 20% each, and LFS to 0.10%, from a current level of 3.47%. AccessHolding intends to purchase all the shares offered by these shareholders to increase its share to 50.10%, from a current level of 16.53%.
As AccessHolding would thereby become the majority shareholder of AccessBank, the execution of this transaction is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic.
AccessHolding's was created as a strategic investor in the microfinance industry, to operate a growing global network of responsible commercial banks in developing and transition countries that provide responsible financial services to low and middle income households and in particular to micro and small businesses.
AccessHolding is owned by an international group of private and public investors including (14.12% each): CDC Group plc (a UK government-owned fund investing in developing and emerging economies), EIB - European Investment Bank (the European Union's financing institution), IFC; KfW Development Bank, and Omidyar Tufts Microfinance Fund (created by the founder of EBay); FMO (the Dutch development bank - 10.03%); LFS Financial Systems (16.12%) and MicroAssets (a staff investment programme of LFS - 3.26%,).
The new shareholder structure increases the prominence in AccessBank Azerbaijan of important international AccessHolding shareholders such as the EIB; CDC and FMO. For KfW and IFC, as they are also shareholders of AccessHolding, the share restructuring represents a consolidation of their shareholdings within AccessHolding. Lastly, it should be noted that EBRD, IFC, KfW and BSTDB will all continue to maintain significant direct stakes in AccessBank (12.45% each for a total of 49.8%), demonstrating their continued support for AccessBank.
The General Manager of AccessBank, Andrew Pospielovsky, commenting on the intended changes said that the proposed changes are only adjustments in the amount of shares held by each shareholder - no new shareholders are joining the bank and all the existing shareholders, including IFC, EBRD, KFW and BSTDB will continue to retain a 49.8% collective share in AccessBank.
At the same time the adjustments increases the prominence in the ownership of AccessBank of important AccessHolding shareholders such as the European Investment Bank - the Investment arm of the European Union; FMO - the Development Bank of the Dutch Government and CDC - the Development Finance Institution of the British Government."
AccessBank was established to provide access to financial services for Azerbaijan's micro and small businesses and low and middle income households. AccessBank is recognized as the most reliable bank in Azerbaijan by Fitch International Ratings ('BB+ Outlook Stable'), and as "The best bank in Azerbaijan" by Global Finance (2011) and Euromoney (2010 & 2011) in their annual awards as well as "The Bank of the Year" by The Banker (2011).
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