EBRD equity investment in National Commercial Bank (NCB) within the context of the privatisation of this Albanian bank. The investment will enable NCB to strengthen its capital base and to restructure its operations in Albania, with particular emphasis on retail banking and lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This will be the first privatisation in the banking sector in Albania and the first major privatisation in the country since the collapse of the communist regime in the early 1990s. The privatisation of NCB is aimed at transforming the bank into a modern institution capable of becoming a leading universal financial institution in Albania, with particular emphasis on retail banking and SME lending.
The privatisation of NCB will have a significant impact on the transition process by:
- setting standards of corporate governance and business conduct in the beleaguered Albanian financial system. NCB will adopt a strict Operating Policy Statement, which will also include a Money Laundering Policy;
- encouraging the development of a competitive financial market that can effectively attract foreign investment and meet the needs of the local population and the SME sector; and
- providing a stimulus for the privatisation of other Albanian state-owned companies.
As a shareholder and with a representative on NCB's Board of Directors, the EBRD will play a key role in ensuring that the bank is managed in accordance with best corporate governance practices.
NCB is one of the two remaining state-owned banks in Albania. Historically, NCB was the main provider of credit to, and recipient of deposits from, the corporate sector, both state-owned and private. NCB has a network of ten branches covering the main cities of Albania and a staff of 477.
Equity investment of US$ 2 million (EUR 1.95 million), representing 20 per cent minus one share of NCB’s share capital.
Total equity investment from the EBRD, the International Finance Corporation and Kentbank, the sponsor, of US$ 10 million (EUR 9.76 million).
NCB will adopt and implement the Bank's "Environmental Procedures for Intermediated Lending through Local Banks", which will allow bank staff to identify, mitigate and monitor environmental risks associated with NCB's operations. By adopting such procedures, NCB will, in particular, enhance its own credit procedures, raise its clients’ awareness of environmental issues and support the enforcement activities of the environmental authorities of Albania.
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