France, Paris, Feb. 27 / Trend A.Akhundov /
Developing financial markets of Azerbaijan and Georgia are very attractive in terms of growth prospects.
This was stated by chairman of the Azerbaijani Pasha Bank Farid Akhundov in his speech at the Fourth Future of Banking Summit in Paris. The summit is organised by The Economist Conferences sponsored by Pasha Bank.
"Europe does not have sufficient understanding of the potential of emerging markets. Working here is not as difficult as it seems. We have skipped some stages of development by examining positive experience of others. For example, we went through the crisis much better than Europe," Akhundov said.
He said the Georgian banking market is much smaller than the Azerbaijani one, but the ratio of bank assets to GDP is greater in Georgia (in Azerbaijan, this figure stands at 25 per cent). The Georgian market has very positive growth prospects.
"The capital markets in the two countries are very young and poorly developed. In Georgia they are just beginning to emerge. The traditional form of financing is a regular loan," Akhundov said.
He said Pasha Bank which is present in both markets has total assets of $945 million and capital of $247 million.
"The bank's share in Azerbaijani market is 4.5 per cent, 0.5 per cent of the bank's active clients are related to business, 8.5 per cent of the client base are state-owned companies. 30 per cent of the bank's loan portfolio accounts for investing in projects (cement plant and agri-centre). Pasha Bank is open for cooperation with foreign partners in different forms, "Akhundov said.
He said the bank pays great attention to its risk strategy and carries out lots of work in this direction.
Pasha Bank is a leading corporate bank in Azerbaijan. Founded in 2007, the bank provides a wide range of corporate banking services including lending, operations in the securities market and asset management and treasury services. Some 207 people are working at the Pasha Bank represented by the head office and four branch offices. The bank was declared the Best Investment Bank in Azerbaijan by the Europe Banking Awards 2011.
Pasha Bank is part of the PASHA group of companies, a major investment holding company in Azerbaijan, which is well represented in sectors such as insurance, construction, building materials production, tourism and other business areas. Kapital Bank, one of the largest banks in Azerbaijani retail market also belongs to the PASHA group of companies.