Azerbaijani officially applies for ECOBANK stake

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 10 / Trend A.Taghiyeva /

Azerbaijan officially applied to the Bank for Development and Trade of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) - ECOBANK to acquire stake, Deputy Director of Department for foreign relations Tuncay Melektosun told Trend on Friday.

"The Azerbaijani side applied with proposal to acquire stake in our bank's capital. At the moment it is under consideration," Mr Melektosun said.

Mr Melektosun refused to give information on Azerbaijan's stake in the bank and other details since this question is still under discussion and providing any official information contradicts principles of confidentiality.

The country's state budget allocated 2.5 million manat ($3.2 about million) to pay Azerbaijan's stake in ECOBANK.

The Bank for Development and Trade of the Economic Cooperation Organization with an authorized capital of 300 million SDR (about $458.73 million) and an announced capital of one billion SDR (about $1.529 billion) was founded by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey in 2005. The bank's headquarters is in Istanbul.

One ECO-unit corresponds to one SDR.

Mr Melektosun also noted that Kazakhstan and Afghanistan also expressed desire to acquire stake at ECOBANK. The Bank is still considering this issue.

According to the document, regulating rules of admission of new members to the bank, the share of each new member must not exceed 15 percent and shouldn't be less than 0.34 percent.

According to the funds allocated from the Azerbaijan's state budget, the share of the country's participation in the authorized capital of the bank will be around 0.7 per cent.

"With the inclusion of new members to the shareholders of the bank authorized capital will be increased from the current 300 million ECO-units (about $458.73 million) to 580 million ECO-units (about $886.87 million)," Mr Melektosun said.

The minimum fee for the stake is 2 million ECO-units (about $3.058 million), which is 0.34 percent of total capital, while the maximum allowable contribution for the purchase of 15 percent will be 87 million ECO-units (about $133.031 million).

In this case, he said, three bank's founders - Iran, Pakistan and Turkey - will have equal shares of 17.24 percent, or 100 million ECO-units (about $152.91 million), so that their total volume of shares formed the majority.

"With a 15 percent equity participation, the country has the right to appoint a representative to the board of directors of the bank. Participants having a share of less than 15 percent, may nominate a common representative," Mr Melektosun said earlier.

Organization for Economic Cooperation was founded by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey in 1985. In 1993 the organization was granted observer status at the UN, and a year later - in the Organization of the Islamic conference. IX summit of the organization, whose members are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan was held in May 2006 in Baku, and the X Summit - in 2009 in Tehran.

The official exchange rate is $1.55141 to 1 SDR on Feb.10.

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