Mobile bank TBC Uzbekistan receives m from EBRD and IFC

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Based in Central Asia, digital banking provider TBC Uzbekistan is a subsidiary of London-listed TBC Bank Group.

TBC Bank Group also invested $23 million, and with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), investing $7.6 million each, the mobile-only bank has secured a total of $38.2 million in equity investment.

This announcement follows previous injections totalling $130 million, but this capital infusion is intended to support TBC UZ maintain dynamic consumer loan issuance and drive new product launches, particularly for micro and small businesses while also diversifying its funding base.

Earlier this year, TBC secured $10 million credit from impact investor responsAbility to support environmentally sustainable projects. TBC Bank Group has the MSCI ESG rating of ‘AA’ and was the recipient of EBRD’s Annual Sustainability Silver Award for environmental and social best practice in 2023. TBC Bank Uzbekistan was also assigned a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of BB- by Fitch Ratings, the same level as the sovereign, which reflects the bank’s strong financial health and operational stability.

TBC Group entered Uzbekistan through the acquisition of Payme’s controlling stake in 2019 and launched the digital bank TBC UZ in October 2020 after receiving the full banking licence in May 2020. Payme is a digital payments app for individuals and small businesses and Payme Nasiya (Payme Instalments), is an instalment credit business.

Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, CEO of TBC Bank Group PLC, says: “This significant investment underscores our strong belief in TBC UZ’s strategic vision, operational excellence and continued profitable growth. We are committed to supporting TBC UZ as it continues to lead the digital banking revolution in Central Asia. The funds will enable TBC UZ to expedite building out its market-leading digital financial ecosystem in Uzbekistan. This includes maintaining its dynamic loan portfolio growth, launching new products and introducing exciting AI-enabled capabilities to ensure we deliver the best customer experience. This investment will allow us to further capitalise on the immense opportunities in Uzbekistan, a fast-growing country with a population of over 37 million people where TBC UZ continues to leverage its growth momentum.”

Andi Aranitasi, Head of Uzbekistan, EBRD adds: “Supporting digitalisation and inclusion are two of the three core strategic priorities of EBRD across all its countries of operations. Our continued investment in TBC UZ highlights our dedication to fostering financial inclusion and digital transformation in the banking sector in Uzbekistan. TBC UZ’s impressive growth trajectory and innovative approach align with our mission to support sustainable economic development in the region.”

Neil McKain, Country Manager, Uzbekistan, IFC comments: TBC UZ’s growth and commitment to innovation make it an important player in the country’s banking sector. We are encouraged with the progress TBC UZ has made so far and remain confident in its potential to contribute to economic growth and financial inclusion in Uzbekistan.”

Nika Kurdiani, CEO of TBC Group operations in Uzbekistan, concludes: “This investment marks another significant milestone not only for TBC UZ but for the entire country as we continue to build our digital financial ecosystem in Uzbekistan. Strengthening our capital position, this funding will enable us to accelerate our profitable growth and solidify our standing as the leading digital banking ecosystem in Central Asia. We are firing on all cylinders, ready to expand our business, and excited to launch new products and services for our fast-growing customer base.”

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