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British banking giant starts operations in Tbilisi

Wednesday, June 25
Special Feature

HSBC will commenced banking operations in Georgia on Monday, unveiling a six-story flagship branch and head-office premises on Rustaveli Avenue in the heart of the capital Tbilisi. The Group was awarded a local banking lisence in July 2007 and will operate under the name HSBC Bank Georgia. This brings to 84 the number of countries and territories in which HSBC has a presence.

With an initial staff of 44, most locally employed banking professionals, HSBC Bank Georgia will offer the full range of retail and commercial products and services as well as foreign exchange and capital markets expertise. Plans for a second branch are already well underway with the acquisition of a freehold site on Gamsakhurdia Avenue in Tbilisi’s busy commercial district.

Georgia is one of the most dynamic economies in the former Soviet Union. Real GDP growth was 12.4 percent in 2007 with net FDI inflows of USD 1.563 billion versus USD 542 million in 2005. Per capita GDP last year was USD 2 315. The population numbers around four and a half million.

Tony Turner, CEO, HSBC Bank Georgia, said: "With GDP growth last year in excess of 10 per cent, strong FDI inflows and a series of highly successful structural reforms in place, we believe that Georgia offers some of the best growth opportunities in the entire CIS region."

He continued: "There is a new breed of Georgian who are increasingly global in outlook and expect nothing less from their bank. As the world’s local bank, HSBC is able to offer them unrivalled access to international banking services as well as local expertise from professionals on the ground.”