Vakhtang Butskhrikidze: Consolidated competition
As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May CEE focus.
Georgia’s banking market is an outlier in emerging Europe. Not only is it almost entirely free from foreign ownership, it is also highly concentrated. Between them, the two largest lenders – TBC Bank and Bank of Georgia – account for nearly two-thirds of sector assets.
In some markets this might be cause for concern. Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, chief executive of market leader TBC, insists that in Georgia – with a population of just 3.7 million – it is a natural function of the size of the market.
“To have the ability to innovate, to invest in new technologies and to service large domestic corporate customers requires a certain critical mass,” he says. “In a market like Georgia, there is only room for a handful of such strong, well-capitalized and well-established players.”