TBC Bank, Georgia's second largest lender, is in talks to buy the country's fourth largest bank, Bank Republic, from France's Societe Generale. The terms of any potential agreement have not yet been agreed, TBC Bank said on September 8.
TBC Bank received a premium listing status on the London Stock Exchange in August, becoming the second Georgian lender to attain the listing after Bank of Georgia in 2012. The small Georgian banking sector comprises 19 banks and has been performing well, with profits jumping by 23.2% y/y to GEL347.3mn (€136mn) in the first seven months of the year. All but one of the banks have foreign capital.
In July, one of the largest Chinese investors in Georgia, Hualing Group, announced that it had reached a preliminary agreement with Societe Generale to purchase Bank Republic, which it intended to merge with a smaller bank that it already owned, Basis Bank.
It is unclear what happened with the negotiations between Hualing Group and Societe Generale. TBC Bank refused to provide more details about the negotiations before making an official statement.
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