Bank of Georgia announces a US$10 million financing from Citi and OPIC for microfinance sector

Bank of Georgia Holdings PLC (“BGH), the holding company of JSC Bank of Georgia (“the Bank”), Georgia’s leading bank announces that the Bank, Citi and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have closed a US$10 million term loan to fund the growth of the Bank’s microfinance portfolio in order to promote the financial inclusion of microentrepreneurs and small businesses in the Republic of Georgia. This loan will be the first from Citi and OPIC for the microfinance sector in Georgia, and is a part of Citi and OPIC’s joint global initiative to support microfinance lending in emerging markets.

“We are delighted with this opportunity to join forces with Citi and OPIC to extend loans to small businesses in Georgia. The newly-drawn facility will further enhance Bank of Georgia’s competitiveness in micro lending, a segment that makes up a sizeable part of the Bank’s Retail Banking loan portfolio. This facility will also allow the Bank to continue supporting the development of small businesses, which is fundamental for the growth of the country’s economy” said Irakli Gilauri, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Georgia.

“Expanded access to finance for the micro and small enterprise sector has the potential to accelerate economic growth in Georgia and broaden financial inclusion for those outside the economic mainstream,” said Steve Donovan, Citi’s Regional Executive of Treasury & Trade Solutions, MENA, Turkey and Central Asia. “This transaction demonstrates and reinforces
Citi’s and OPIC’s shared commitment to unlock opportunities to access both start-up and sustaining capital for aspiring and established small businesses.”

“Small businesses are fundamental to economic growth and job creation but often still struggle to obtain the financing needed to support and expand their operations” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “OPIC’s longstanding partnership with Citi has provided financing to thousands of micro and small-businesses in regions that are underserved by the financial sector and we are delighted to expand this same partnership to Georgia” Littlefield added.