Awards for Excellence 2008: Kyrgyzstan
Best bank: Asia Universal
With a population of just 5.21 million people producing a GDP of a mere $3.7 billion, Kyrgyzstan is not going to be home to any really large financial institutions. The biggest bank in Kyrgyzstan, with $130 million in deposits accounting for a 22.1 % market share, is Asia Universal. It is also the best performer. It is Kyrgyzstan’s fastest-growing mortgage provider and is the only Kyrgyz entity to have received an international credit rating. Total shareholders’ equity rose 212% to $36.5 million in the past year, while net income climbed 246% to $2.7 million. In both of those measures, as in total assets and customer accounts, Asia Universal is by far the country’s leader. It is also the first bank to offer internet banking services, and the only one to establish a dedicated control and compliance department. It is also competitive regionally, with branches in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Latvia, as well as a representative office planned for China later this year.