Best Bank: Bank of Georgia
In the past year the Bank of Georgia has continued to carve out a leading edge in the ever-growing Georgian market. It remains Georgia’s largest retail bank, with 33% market share, holds 27.6% of the loan market and retains the title of most profitable bank in the ex-Soviet country. Combined with dominating the local market and having investors such as East Capital and Firebird Management, the bank also successfully entered the international markets this year. In November 2006 it became the first Georgian company and the second CIS bank to list its shares through GDRs on the London Stock Exchange. Following this success, in February, the Bank of Georgia issued $200 million of regulation S senior unsecured Eurobonds. These two deals seal its position as the best bank in Georgia. TBC Bank is tipped as a major growth story in the next few months and stands to be the only real competitor for this award next year, especially since its transparency standards are recognized as being superior to Bank of Georgia’s.