IFC weighs $10m equity investment in TBC Uzbekistan bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is proposing a $10-million equity investment in TBC Uzbekistan (TBC UZ), a newly formed bank developed by TBC Bank Group, the largest bank in Georgia.

The investment will give IFC a minority stake of 20 per cent. The lender currently holds an 8-per cent stake in TBC Bank Group.

TBC UZ will focus on lending to underserved, fast-growing retail customers, and small and medium enterprises, with a strong emphasis on digital offering, IFC said in a disclosure.

“It will be a next-generation banking ecosystem with a strong emphasis on digital offering, using high-quality contemporary banking practices transposed from the TBC Bank Group’s Georgian operations,” IFC said.

TBC UZ is expected to contribute to increased competitiveness of the country’s banking sector through innovation, competition, and demonstration channels. It will provide access to finance for underserved segments in the economy, IFC added.

“Should TBC UZ prove successful, this will invite other private investors into the Uzbek banking sector. In addition, strong operational performance focused on modern branches and digital channels is expected to push traditional banks towards innovation and increased efficiency,” the lender said.

Uzbekistan became a member of the IFC in 1993. Since 1996, IFC has supported a number of private sector projects in the country’s financial, agribusiness, and food sectors.

Last August, IFC proposed lending up to $20 million in long-term financing to build a 100-megawatt solar project in Uzbekistan. It also proposed to extend a $60-million loan to Thai chemicals company Indorama Group to finance its cotton farming initiatives in Uzbekistan.

For TBZ Uzbekistan, IFC said it will provide own account equity to “help establish a modern, efficient, and profitable private bank in a country in which private sector investment in the banking sector has been negligible over the past three years”.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.