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IFC Helps TBC Bank and Tbilvino Expand

Wednesday, October 5
The International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide a USD $10 million trade finance guarantees to help Georgia’s TBC Bank finance foreign trade transactions of local companies, boosting trade in Georgia.

TBC Bank will join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, enabling it to offer its clients import and export financing at longer terms and better pricing than previously. IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program provides access to a global network of more than 300 banks in about 85 countries.

"IFC’s guarantees will support foreign trade in Georgia,” said Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, Director General of TBC Bank. “With the financial support of the IFC, we will be able to help local businesses expand their import and export activities and engage in international markets.”

IFC and TBC Bank have a longstanding business partnership dating to 1998, and IFC is a shareholder in TBC Bank. As one of Georgia’s top banks, TBC provides financial intermediation in the economy and contributes to increased competition in the financial sector.

“After our strong support to Georgia’s banking sector in challenging economic times, we remain committed to continuing our engagement in this sector through various initiatives, including the Global Trade Finance Program,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Vice President for Global Industries. “The signing of this agreement is another important milestone in the longstanding and successful partnership between IFC and TBC Bank.”

Since its inception in 2005, IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program has issued more than 10,000 guarantees to support more than USD $17 billion in trade-finance transactions in emerging markets.

Meanwhile, IFC signed a USD $1.5 million loan agreement with Georgian wine producer and exporter Tbilvino, creating employment opportunities in rural areas and benefiting small farmers.

The loan will support Tbilvino’s USD $3 million investment program to expand production, enhance product quality and food safety standards, and boost competitiveness. It will also help Georgia develop its agriculture sector and increase exports.

“Tbilvino’s new investment program will help our company realize its growth agenda,” said Zurab Margvelashvili, Executive Director of Tbilvino. “IFC’s support is an important part of this program, and we hope that it will help our company reach new markets. The new capital investment will positively influence our quality control systems, while the new production facility will increase our capacity, which is so necessary with annual growth in demand for our wines.”

With IFC’s support, the winery will establish a grape-collecting and crushing facility in the Kakheti region, which will create employment opportunities in the rural area. IFC’s first investment in Georgia’s wine sector will also contribute to strengthening the agribusiness supply chain, and help boost income for Kakheti farmers.

“Agriculture is a key sector for economic growth and job creation in Georgia as more than half of the population is employed in this sector,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President, Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa. “With this investment we aim to support Georgia, which enjoys a long history of viticulture, to enhance its traditional lead export and realize its competitive advantage in this area.”

Tbilvino won silver and bronze medals at the 2011 China Wine Awards in September. A jury of 40 judges evaluated more than 700 wines at the Hong Kong event, which attracted wine distributors and connoisseurs from around the world.

IFC’s cumulative investments in Georgia since 1995 total USD $550 million in 39 projects across a variety of sectors. Through its Advisory Services, the IFC is working towards reform of Georgia’s tax system to benefit small businesses, helping raise food safety standards, and strengthening the risk-management practices of banks. Georgia has been a member of IFC since 1995.