IMF expects concrete steps taken to privatise Azerbaijan’s largest bank this year
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 2 / Trend A.Akhundov /
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects concrete steps be taken for the privatisation of the state share in the capital of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) by the end of 2012 to early 2013, the deputy director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD), Nadeem Ilahi, said at a press conference in Baku on Wednesday.
"Though recently provided to the International Bank of Azerbaijan, public support has strengthened its capital and liquidity and it requires a more comprehensive approach. The IMF mission calls on the authorities as soon as possible and in compliance with the principles of transparency to disaggregate and privatise the bank. The government is working in this area and we hope concrete steps will be taken in this direction by the end of this and the beginning of next year," Ilahi said.
He added government support of IBA was a necessary step.
"We discussed the long term plans with Azerbaijan in connection with the IBA. According to our impressions, serious work is underway on this matter. IBA is a very important asset for the country. Privatisation is one of the tools that will make it work better," Ilahi said.
He noted that the bank has a large impact on the entire banking system. "This can create problems for the banking system. Therefore, the bank must be disaggregated," Ilahi said.
Consultant for the privatisation of the IBA is a consortium consisting of PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit Azerbaijan (PwC) and Salans UK law firm.
IBA is a semi-public bank and its main shareholder is the government of Azerbaijan which owns 50.2 per cent stake, while 49.8 per cent is owned by private individuals and legal entities (including banks).