THE BIRTH OF THE BANK
EARLY YEARS (1993-2008)
In 1993 a group of friends – physicists and mathematicians, graduates from Moscow State University decide to set up a bank. Equipped with only one office, a few employees and 5 mln. GEL in capital at that time, the Bank has managed to weather various changes and meet the many challenges along the way: Post-soviet era, transition to a free market economy, adaptation to new economic realities, difficult political and economic situation and many more.
Being the only bank in Georgia to have a diversified Georgian shareholding and no foreign ownership or support in the beginning, the Bank could have ended as swiftly as it began as out of more than 300 banks operating in 90s the majority collapsed due to their inability of adapting to difficult changes and lack of proper management. However, it wasn’t Basisbank’s story. Backed by the sound management, the Bank evolved through its organic growth and prepared attractive platform for the entrance of an experienced, growth-oriented strategic investor.
From the initial stage the Bank’s management had a clear and simple aim to connect its resources to the needs of its clients and to prepare a solid ground for a successful activities of the bank in a long-term run.Thus, BB’s Management directed all their resources to accomplish a major business conception –creation of a niche Bank with a customer-focused approach based on strong communication ties with customers.
From the beginning the bank has strived for:
- Continuous care for the financial welfare of its customers
- Business success of its clients
- Creation of the best long-term partnership with promising, development oriented SMEs
- Formation of the efficient, reputable institution in the country
- Gaining recognition and status of a reliable regional partner among active IFIs
Throughout the early years of operation, the Bank was steadily growing. By the time EBRD’s strategic alliance with BB, it was a very different institution from the tiny business
YEARS OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH EBRD
SUPPORTING GROWTH (2008-2012)
Prior to strategic alliance with EBRD, BB put forth a hard work to upgrade its operations to adapt it to the best international practices. By the time EBRD became BB’s shareholder, the bank already had functional organization structure, efficient corporate governance structure adjusted to the size of the Bank and reporting system. In the years of BB-EBRD strategic partnership the Bank has undergone fundamental changes. The Management of the Bank was completely reorganized; new significant structures were introduced and established; with EBRD’s entrance the format of communications between Supervisory Board and Management Board changed encompassing regular meetings and interactions, the strategic development plan was reformulated according to the mutual interests of the new and existing owners.
A new and enhanced corporate governance system has been jointly formulated by the Bank’s local personnel and European consultants. Two years EBRD sponsored Institution Building Plan was carried out with the help of international consulting company DAI (Development Alternative, Inc (DAI Europe). UNDER IBP program extensive consulting services were provided by the European professionals to transform the Bank’s organization structure to meet the Best international practices.
The tremendous work that has been done by the Bank’s Management and dedicated staff brought Basisbank recognition as an efficient, reliable bank with strong position among its peers and built a reputation that endures the present day. The aforementioned four year work has led to the upgrading of BB’s international ratings: International credit rating agency ‘Fitch Ratings’ increased its ratings to Basisbank from long-term CCC to B- and from short-term C to B with a stable outlook in 2010 and reaffirmed it in 2011.
The bank has grown far beyond its primary vision of a locally owned and managed institution that understood local needs. It won the confidence and loyalty of its staff, clients, partners, shareholders and assured that this once-small local bank became a prominent actor and a trustworthy partner on the market.
2012 – UP TO PRESENT DAYS
ENTRANCE OF A NEW STRATEGIC INVESTOR – HUALING GROUP
While EBRD-BB strategic alliance was a period of Basisbank’s significant organizational transformations and developments, it has prepared the groundwork for the Bank’s robust organic growth strategy.
On the background of already developed, strong financial institution, the right time came for the Bank to look further for increasing its capital base and capturing market share in the country. Basisbank was already prepared for a more dynamic growth, however further solid capital infusion was needed and the Bank turned its attention on looking out for potential strategic investors as a possible vehicle to realize the Bank’s robust growth strategy.
In 2012, Basisbank found such an investor who would be interested in the company’s further rapid development and who would inject additional capital in the Bank’s business acceleration. China’s Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade (Group) Co., Ltd (the "Hualing Group") – a big Chinese company acquired 90% equity stake in BasisBank. By that period Basisbank already had:
• Efficient organization structure based on best Corporate Governance Principles
• Fast, efficient and responsive services
• Full package of banking services for Retail, Corporate and SME segments
• Knowledgeable and equipped staff to handle local and global business challenges for the clients
• Well developed branch network
Together with the new owner and solid capital infusion the Bank started to rigorously execute its redefined 5 year strategy that encompassed ambitious growth.
By the end of the year 2014, changes were made to the shareholder structure of the Bank. Hualing Group retained its majority 92.78% interest in the Bank. EBRD and Z. Tsikhistavi, as part of the Subscription Agreement sold their remaining shares of the Bank. Mr. Mi Zaiqi, Member of Supervisory Board acquired 7% of the Bank’s shares, while JSC Basisbank’s current Management Board collectively invested and acquired 0.22% shares in the Bank.