Bank of Georgia (BoG) has closed a US$50mn one-year trade finance club facility that will go towards supporting the imports and exports of the banks’ corporate customers in agribusiness, transportation and energy.
“The facility will support Georgian corporates importing a great variety of products, we cover many sectors, our portfolio is diversified,” a spokesperson for BoG told GTR.
“Some examples include trade and selling of fuel, petrol and diesel. Also, wheat, vehicles, construction materials, consumer electronics, computers and food products.”
The facility was arranged by Citi with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) providing funding and a partial guarantee through its global trade finance programme (GTFP).
It is the third such facility arranged by Citi for Bank of Georgia and attracted several international investors during the syndication, said Citi in a statement. Both Citi and BoG declined to disclose who the other participants were.
IFC global director, financial institutions, Marcos Brujis, says: “Support for international trade is key to the continued economic development of Georgia, an important regional crossroads. The Citi and IFC facility will accelerate the flow of trade credit, helping service the import of critical commodities and generating much-needed foreign exchange through export activity.”
Georgia is reliant on the support of development banks to galvanise the local lending sector.
In September, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to provide US$3mn worth of guarantees each year for trade finance loans issued by JSC Basis Bank, a commercial bank in the country.
TBC Bank, another of the major commercial lenders in Georgia, has in recent years turned to the likes of the OPEC Fund for International Development (Ofid) and The Export-Import Bank of Turkey for support, closing US$30mn in trade finance loans with the pair in 2014.