Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11
The International Bank of Azerbaijan (“IBA”) has been working closely with the Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan (the “Ministry of Finance”), the Financial Market Supervision Authority of Azerbaijan (“FIMSA”) and the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan to address issues relating to IBA’s financial position and the sufficiency of its regulatory capital in accordance with the aims of the Presidential Decree dated 15 July 2015, the Ministry said May 11.
We note that in order to address the challenging financial position of IBA, the Supervisory Board of IBA has recently concluded, with the support of the Ministry of Finance and FIMSA, that further measures are urgently required in order to ensure the long-term liability of IBA.
To this end, IBA has commenced a process of voluntary restructuring in accordance with the applicable provisions of the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on banks. On 4 May 2017, the Nasimi District Court issued an order commencing a process of voluntary restructuring on the basis of an application of IBA and a proposed restructuring plan. The process will lead to a meeting of all creditors affected by the restructuring plan. If approved by two-thirds of the affected creditors by value the plan will be accepted and become binding on all of them. The Ministry of Finance anticipates that approval of the restructuring plan will facilitate further government support for IBA in accordance with the 2015 Presidential Decree.
The restructuring plan contemplates a restructuring process to be effected through an exchange of IBA’s senior and junior foreign currency obligations for direct sovereign obligations of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Pending the implementation of the planned restructuring process, and to ensure equal treatment of all affected creditors, IBA has suspended payments of principal and interest with respect to all obligations to be included in the operation (other than interest under trade finance facilities).
The Ministry of Finance is supportive of the efforts of IBA to restore its financial viability, and encourages IBA’s creditors to support the proposed restructuring plan. Implementation of the restructuring plan will reduce the financial liabilities of the Bank and contribute to IBA’s financial rehabilitation, thereby materially strengthening the banking sector of Azerbaijan and benefitting the economy of the country. The Ministry of Finance notes with approval that depositors in IBA will not be impacted by the proposed restructuring, and that the Bank’s normal services and operations will continue to be conducted during the forthcoming process.