ECOBANK interested in funding projects in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 2 /Trend A.Taghiyeva, A.Hasanov/

ECOBANK Azerbaijan is interested in obtaining the status of a shareholder of the bank by Azerbaijan and immediately joining the Azerbaijani market, deputy director of the ECOBANK Fazli Sak told Trend. A delegation headed by the director of ECOBANK Hussein Gazavi is in Baku.

"We became acquainted with Azerbaijan, a country that is on the path of active development. ECOBANK is interested in participating in projects in Azerbaijan," Sak, who is also director of policy and strategy of the bank, said.

Sak added that ECOBANK has done everything asked of it to enable a speedy joining of Azerbaijan to the Bank. Everything will depend on the Azerbaijani side in the future, he said.
"The sooner Azerbaijan will be able to solve all the problems associated with joining the Bank, the faster we would be able to begin funding of the projects with participation of Azerbaijan. After meeting with the Azeri side we will wait for an invitation from the country to sign an agreement," Sak said.

President of ECOBANK Hussein Gazavi noted in turn that Azerbaijan's participation in the share capital of the bank amount to three per cent.

"Azerbaijan has expressed interest and has filed an application for membership four months ago, at the moment the documents are ready, but not yet signed. Registration on Afghanistan, which also appealed for entry into the bank's shareholders, is nearing completion," Gazavi said.

The entry of Azerbaijan into ECOBANK, according to Gazavi also creates an opportunity to obtain loans by Azerbaijani banks in ECOBANK.

In the primary stage Azerbaijan proposes to be a shareholder with three per cent share and the share of the country can also be expanded along with the capital of ECOBANK," a government spokesperson said. "The proposal of Azerbaijan was approved by the bank."
Azerbaijan is planning to allocate 9.7 million SDR (exchange rate on April 30 is 1,550550 USD/SDR) to pay its share in the capital of the bank. Some 2.5 million manat (about $3.2 million) has already been laid aside for this purpose.

"We would like Azerbaijan to be a shareholder of ECOBANK with greater equity and offered the package at 10-12 per cent" deputy director of the department for foreign relations Tuncay Melektosun told Trend previously.

The membership of 10 countries is expected in the bank.
"The official request to join the shareholders of the bank came from Azerbaijan and Afghanistan," Melektosun said.

The Bank for Development and Trade of the Economic Cooperation Organisation with an authorised 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. The minimum fee for the stake is two million ECO-units (about $3.058 million), which is 0.34 per cent of the total capital, while the maximum allowable contribution for the purchase of 15 per cent 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 per cent, or 100 million ECO-units (about $152.91 million), so that their total volume of shares formed the majority.

"With a15 per cent 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 per cent may nominate a common representative," Mr Melektosun said earlier.

The Central Bank or the relevant ministry represents member countries at the ECO-Bank.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation was founded by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey in 1985. In 1993 the organisation was granted observer status at the UN and a year later at the Organisation of the Islamic conference.

The IX summit of the organisation 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 last year in Tehran.

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