bne IntelliNews – The EBRD and IFC acquire a stake in the Uzbek digital bank of the TBC Bank group

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) each plan to acquire up to 20% of TBC Bank Uzbekistan (TBC UZ), a digital banking subsidiary of the Georgian group TBC Bank, listed on the LSE. .

Investments by institutional investors are aimed at promoting increased private sector participation in Uzbekistan’s banking sector and strengthening digital finance in Uzbekistan, thereby increasing financial inclusion in the country, EBRD said.

The first subscription is set at $ 9.4 million for each of the two investors. It is planned to support further capital increases during the period 2022-2024.

Founded in October 2020, TBC UZ opened as the first digital bank in Uzbekistan. Today, it operates through two smart next-generation agencies and 34 “customer contact points” in 12 cities across the country.

The bank offers innovative financial products to more than 630,000 registered retail users.

“This is the first capital investment in the banking sector of Uzbekistan since the EBRD resumed cooperation with the country in 2017. We welcome the competition and hope that it will benefit everyone.” said Alkis Drakinos, head of the EBRD’s representative office in Uzbekistan.

Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, Managing Director of TBC Bank, said: “We have a long history of successful cooperation with IFC and EBRD, who have been firmly by our side for two decades. I am extremely grateful to them for embarking on this exciting next leg of our journey with us. This joint venture agreement marks another important step for our expansion in Uzbekistan, allowing us to accelerate our growth in the country and to offer a wide range of innovative and affordable products to the population. TBC UZ successfully operates on the basis of our innovative fintech platform, Space, which offers retail banking solutions through a mobile app.

Wiebke Schloemer, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said: “We are further deepening our partnership with TBC Bank Group. IFC supports TBC’s efforts in expanding banking services, based on innovative and technological solutions, across Uzbekistan. This investment is also well aligned with our strategy to help Uzbekistan promote greater market competitiveness by increasing the share of private sector participation in the banking sector.

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