EBRD does not exclude merger in Azerbaijani banking sector
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) does not exclude merger in the banking sector of Azerbaijan and is ready to participate in it, head of EBRD Baku office Neil McCain told Trend on May 16.
"We expect that the increase in the banks' minimum capital requirements, which will finally come into force from January 1, 2015, will increase the consolidation pressure on the market participants," he said. "We are ready to participate in any possible mergers that may occur during 2014 or in the beginning of the next years. Some 43 banks are operating in the country now. This is too much for Azerbaijan not only in terms of money, but human capital and the availability of a sufficient number of qualified professionals in 43 financial institutions. EBRD fully supports the policy of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) to promote consolidation of the banks without using an administrative method."
"Currently, the EBRD holds a stake in three commercial banks of the country," he said.
"These are AccessBank, DemirBank and Unibank," he said. "Nevertheless, we do not intend to be shareholders forever. We have a special withdrawal strategy. But this is not an issue that I can comment publicly."
The EBRD has allocated about 1.8 billion euros for 146 projects in Azerbaijan since 1991 up until now. A half of these funds were directed to the private sector.
edited by CN