Tbilisi (GBC) - Through its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided TBC Bank in Georgia with its first TFP factoring facility in local currency.

The facility will allow TBC Bank to increase its domestic factoring business with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. This is the first time in the Caucasus region that a facility of this kind has been made available to an EBRD TFP partner bank in the local currency. Examples of transactions financed under this facility include the distribution of food and goods, transportation services, and the production and trade of construction materials.

George Tkhelidze, Deputy CEO of TBC Bank, Corporate and Investment Banking, Wealth Management, said: “As the leading supporter of businesses in Georgia, it is important for us to continuously create new development opportunities for our partner companies. The EBRD’s TFP factoring facility in local currency represents an opportunity for us to do this. Through factoring, we support companies involved in international trade in managing their financial resources. Although the product is relatively new for the Georgian banking sector, we hold a market-leading position with a 68 per cent share. The fact that TBC is the first bank in the region to receive a TFP factoring facility in local currency from the EBRD confirms our advanced position in the development of factoring and trade financing in general, and the EBRD’s trust in us.”

“Georgia’s banking sector has often been at the forefront of financial innovation among the banking sectors of our countries of operations offering new products for better access to finance. I am very pleased that the trend continues and that today becomes available the first factoring facility in local currency in Caucasus through TBC bank. This new TFP factoring limit in local currency will make it possible for TBC Bank to facilitate domestic transactions and support more SMEs in Georgia providing access to factoring.” said Alkis Vryenios Drakinos, EBRD Regional Director for the Caucasus.

TBC Bank joined the EBRD’s TFP in 1999. Since then, TBC Bank has used TFP support to finance more than 1,000 trade transactions worth more than €850 million in total, including the import of LED lights to replace street lighting in Batumi and export of green and environmentally clean buses from Georgia to Armenia.

The TFP factoring limit in local currency allows TBC Bank to facilitate domestic transactions and provide access to factoring to more SMEs in Georgia. The main purpose of the TFP is to support SMEs. The programme aims to promote foreign trade to, from and within the EBRD regions and offers a range of products to facilitate this trade, including guarantees and trade-related cash advances.

The EBRD has invested up to €5 billion in Georgia to date through 290 projects, with more than 83 per cent of that investment in the private sector. The Bank’s key areas of investment include the financial sector, private sector, sustainable infrastructure, manufacturing and services.