EBRD May Start Talks With Azeri IBA Over Privatisation In 2019

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development may start discussions with the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) over its privatisation later this year, the EBRD’s manager in the South Caucasus country said. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev ordered in 2015 the privatisation of the oil-rich country’s biggest bank after a clean-up to get rid of distressed assets resulting from poor management, Reuters reported. Two years later the state-run IBA proposed a plan to restructure $3.3 billion of its debt, later receiving approval from creditors holding 93.9 percent of the affected debt. The restructuring process has been completed through funds of the Finance Ministry, which holds a stake of over 91 percent in the IBA. The government, on behalf of IBA, now plans to appeal against a British court decision to back Russian lender Sberbank and asset manager Franklin Templeton over the bank’s debt restructuring. The EBRD said in 2018 it might be interested in buying a stake in IBA. Read more