EBRD and EU unlock funds for TBC Bank and Georgian firms

By Nina Tsintsadze

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  • EBRD US$ 20 million local currency loan to TBC Bank for on-lending to small businesses
  • Backed by EU to help Georgian companies compete on the local and international markets
  • EBRD increases TBC Bank’s trade finance limit by US$ 5 million

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Georgia are set to benefit from greater access to finance thanks to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU).

The EBRD is extending a local currency loan of US$ 20 million-equivalent to leading Georgian bank TBC for on-lending to local firms. The loan agreement was signed by the TBC’s CEO Vakhtang Butskhrikidze and EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso during her visit to the country.

The financing will help local MSMEs invest in equipment, including green technology, to raise the quality of their products to EU standards and improve their competitiveness. Around 75 per cent of the loan is expected to finance green investments in accordance with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.  

Borrowers will receive grant incentives worth up to 15 per cent of the loan amount and benefit from international expertise, funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative.

This financing comes under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line – a flagship programme that helps local companies improve their standards and product quality to boost competitiveness at home and abroad. TBC Bank is one of the first financial institutions in Georgia to engage in the programme, and since 2017 has on-lent to more than 90 companies.

In addition, the EBRD is stepping up its support to Georgian exporters and importers by increasing TBC’s trade finance limit by US$ 5 million to US$ 58 million under its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP). Established in 1999, the TFP offers trade finance guarantees and short-term cash advances to support the import and export activities of local companies. Last year, TBC Bank won the EBRD award for the most active issuing bank in the country. The EBRD will also support a series of training sessions on unconscious bias in the lending market.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, TBC is a leading universal financial group in Georgia, offering a wide range of traditional financial services and innovative digital solutions. It has a strong presence in all major business segments – retail banking, MSME finance and corporate banking.

Since 2009 the EU has been supporting companies in Georgia through the EU4Business initiative.  With almost 50 different projects active with a total budget of more than €320 million, the EU is proud to be the largest foreign supporter of private sector development in Georgia. These efforts are bringing results – in 2021 alone, more than 34,000 SMEs in Georgia were helped, resulting in an estimated 15,000 new jobs and generating an estimated €120 million of extra income.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. To date it has invested more than €5 billion in 270 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 81 per cent of those investments in the private sector.

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