Dutch investment group acquires Georgia's third largest bank from local venture

By bne IntelliNews October 18, 2017

Liberty Bank, the third largest lender in Georgia, announced on October 13 that a Netherlands-based company, the European Financial Group, has purchased 74.64% of its equity. No further details about the transaction were revealed. The ultimate beneficiaries of the new owner are American citizens Igor Alexeev and Irakli Rukhadze and Ben Marson, a British citizen.

Previously, a local venture owned by former Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze and Romanian businessman Dinu Patriciu owned 91.2% of the shares in the bank. Liberty Bank is the largest of the 17 small banks in Georgia, accounting for a market share of 5.6%. TBC Bank and Bank of Georgia, the country's largest lenders, account for two-thirds of the market in terms of loans and deposits.

According to its half-year financial results, Liberty Bank experienced a 29.7% y/y growth in net income to GEL21mn (7.43mn) and a 22.1% y/y growth in revenue, in line with the generally positive performance of the entire sector.

According to the statement of its Q2/H1 results, the bank has experienced a significant turnaround, going from a nearly bankrupt institution with negligible equity of under GEL15mn and negative regulatory capital to a bank with equity worth over GEL170mn and a return on assets that has been consistently above 20%. 

Related Articles

Polish banks Pekao and Alior end merger talks

Poland’s second-largest lender by assets, the state-controlled Bank Pekao, will not merge with smaller competitor Alior Bank, the pair announced on August 7. Both banks are units of ... more

Romania’s largest bank reports best H1 results in ten years

Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) reported RON697mn (€150mn) net profit in H1, 130% up y/y and the best financial result in the past decade. The profit from operations edged up more modestly, by ... more

Much criticised Iranian central bank chief replaced amid rial crisis

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on July 25 replaced the head of Iran’s central bank with the collapse of the Iranian rial (IRR) continuing to take a heavy toll on the country’s economy. ... more