EBRD may buy stake in Azerbaijan’s International Bank (UPDATE)

Headline changed, details added (first version posted at 11:36)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 15

Trend:

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) may become a shareholder of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), Reuters reports citing EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti.

“We spoke to the [Azerbaijani] president, we said we would be happy to help in restructuring and refocusing of this bank,” Chakrabarti said.

He added that the key for the EBRD to seriously consider becoming a shareholder in IBA would be a “corporate governance reform” at the bank.

The EBRD was unlikely to become a shareholder in IBA earlier this year.

“It’s very unlikely this year – they need to go through the restructuring process. We said: let’s see how you go and we are happy to be involved at a technical assistance level but for the equity stake we have to see how things change,” Chakrabarti noted.

On July 15, 2015, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on the measures for rehabilitation related to the preparations for privatizing the state-owned shares of the International Bank of Azerbaijan OJSC.

In order to restore the bank's financial position, the distressed assets of the bank were transferred to state-owned Aqrarkredit non-bank credit organization. Aqrarkredit CJSC provides the IBA with liquid assets in exchange for distressed assets.

Restructuring of IBA’s foreign liabilities has been recently completed.

Azerbaijan has been a member of EBRD since 1992. Since then, the bank has invested about $2.8 billion in 161 projects in Azerbaijan’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.

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