The EBRD has participated in the first secured corporate bond denominated in the local currency lari (GEL), a milestone transaction in Georgia and the Caucasus.
The EBRD invested GEL 20 million in a bond subscription by JSC Evex Medical Corporation, the largest health care services provider in Georgia and fully owned by JSC Georgia Healthcare Group (GHG). GHG has been listed on the London Stock Exchange through its UK-incorporated holding company Georgia Healthcare Group PLC since November 2015.
The total volume of the bond programme is GEL 90 million (US$ 37.5 million-equivalent) and the proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and capital expenditure needs for the further development of the company’s health care services.
The EBRD plays a leading role in the development of the local currency and capital markets in Georgia, working with the Georgian government, the National Bank of Georgia and local financial institutions to encourage borrowing in local currency and to develop and strengthen local capital markets.
Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, said: “This is a historic step forward for the development of the local capital markets in Georgia. The transaction sends a strong signal that bonds are a viable source of local currency funding for the private corporate sector. We hope that it will become an example and a catalyst for similar bond issuances in Georgia and the Caucasus region.”
To date, the EBRD has invested €2.9 billion in 205 projects in various sectors of the Georgian economy. Strengthening the local capital and currency markets is part of the EBRD’s efforts to promote the six transition qualities, which define successful and sustainable market economies as resilient, integrated, inclusive, green, well-governed and competitive.