Presidential administration: Only state bank is to be gradually privatised in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 12 / Trend A. Akhundov /

The Azerbaijani government plans to sell up to 20 per cent of its stake in the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) as a first stage, head of economic department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Mail Rahimov told Trend today.

"The IBA state share worth 50.2 per cent will not be privatised immediately," he said. "It is planned to conduct this process gradually and only to 20 per cent in the first instance." He added that it is currently impossible to give the exact date of the IBA privatisation.
"When the real buyers appear, we can talk about this, "Mr Rahimov said.

IBA board chairman Jahangir Hajiyev said earlier that the initial report on the preparation for the privatisation of the state share of the IBA authorised capital will be submitted to the Azerbaijani State Property Committee this month.

"The first stage of the consulting work is under completion," he said. "The first report on the bank's privatisation strategy will be submitted this month."

He said that the report will include the form of one or several steps, through additional release of shares, or redemption of existing shares. The bank will be assessed on the basis of the auditor's report as of 2011.

"After the report is presented, the concept of the bank's privatisation will be adopted," he said. "But in general everything will depend on the investors, or the investor group. The requirements to be presented by the state are worked out. The work with investors will get started."

The consortium of PriceWaterhouseCoopers Audit Azerbaycan, Salans UK Limited, and Rothschild & CIE are acting as consultants on this issue.

The consultants must work in accordance with international norms and standards of financial transactions. The advisory services will be set up in two stages. The above-mentioned services should be rendered at both stages.

Consultants must submit proposals for privatisation and the reduction of the state share in the share capital of the bank through an additional issues, as well as recommendations on price and conditions of sale of its shares within the first phase.

They must also submit recommendations on the cost and conditions of sale of the shares, attract potential buyers, meet the interests of Azerbaijan, examine the process of privatisation and carry out the necessary work associated it depending on the way it should go, including the preparation of memorandums and related documents within the second phase.

The International Bank of Azerbaijan's main shareholder is the Azerbaijani government, which owns 50.2 per cent of the shares. About 49.8 per cent is owned by private physical and legal bodies.

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