Fitch assigns Bank of Georgia its expected rating

Business Materials 18 May 2012 13:59 (UTC +04:00)

Georgia, Tbilisi, May 18 / Trend N. Kirtzkhalia /

Fitch Ratings has assigned the Bank of Georgia's forthcoming senior fixed rate note issue an expected rating of 'BB-(exp)', the bank said today.

The final rating will be dependent upon getting final documents conforming to the already received information.

The proposed senior unsecured Eurobonds will be issued directly by the Bank of Georgia and listed in the UK. Covenants in the terms and conditions include a negative pledge in respect of the subordination of holders of the bonds to 'new' creditors as well as clauses relating among other things, to: business continuity; mergers; the disposal of assets; changes of business; transactions with affiliates; the payment of taxes; dividend payments; indebtedness; and compliance with the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) prudential supervision ratios.

Moreover, Bank of Georgia is required to maintain Basel I Tier 1 and total capital ratios of eight and 12 per cent respectively.

The ratings of the senior notes are stipulated by the Bank of Georgia's long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BB-'/Stable.

The Bank of Georgia is the largest bank in Georgia with market shares of between 35 and 37 per cent of its total assets, loans and deposits as at end-2011, according to NBG data.
The bank's strategic businesses include retail and corporate banking and wealth management. Moreover, the Bank of Georgia's Group renders insurance and healthcare, affordable housing and brokerage services throughout the country. In February 2012, Bank of Georgia Holdings plc., which is the 98.35 per cent owner of Bank of Georgia, was listed on the London Stock Exchange.