Bank of Georgia (BGEO), the country’s largest bank, rises 3.8% to £23.56 after reporting record profits in 2013 of £73.2 million. The market also welcomed 33.3% dividend rise to GEL2 (103.67p) a share.
The FTSE 250 constituent and a running Play of the Week provides retail and corporate banking as well as wealth management and brokerage services.
Bank of Georgia is helping the country with infrastructure developments to capitalise on its tourism industry, one of the key drivers of the economy. This has seen the bank fund hotels, restaurants, property and food processing businesses.
During 2013 its net loan book increased by 13.9%, giving the bank an interest margin – the difference between the interest paid on borrowings to that charged on lending - of 7.8%. This is an impressive figure for the bank, despite it slipping from 7.9% a year ago.
Bank of Georgia also held almost a third of its assets in cash (30%), helping it towards a 20% tier I capital ratio, the size of assets to reserves.
The results have been largely driven by its insurance and healthcare products business Aldagi. It has almost 30% of the market in terms of premium revenue and accounted 12% of the bank’s profits last year. A stock market float of the business has been muted for later this year.