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TBC founders mortgage shares to help build Anaklia port

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 3
Founders of one of the leading banks in Georgia TBC - Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze have mortgaged their bank shares to use the received money for the construction of Georgiaís strategically important Anaklia deep-sea port in western Georgia, which is due to be completed in 2021.

Both mortgaged 1.8 percent of their shares on Cyprus-registered Renaissance Securities.

The benefit gained from the operation, 10 million USD, will be spent on the Anaklia project.

As of now, Khazaradze owns 11.89 percent of TBC shares and Japaridze-6.37 percent.

They have no intention to sell the shares in the end.

After two years of discussions, the Georgian government selected the Anaklia Development Consortium in 2016 ahead of six other local and international companies to develop the mixed-cargo port on a build, operate and transfer basis.

The Anaklia Development Consortium will invest $2.5 billion in the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project.

The Consortium will have to attract the funds from international monetary institutions.

The Consortium was jointly established by local company TBC Holding and US firm Conti International.

The Anaklia Port's mission is to create a new, faster maritime corridor between China and Europe, helping restore the historic Silk Road. Experts say that the port will increase NATO's interest in Georgia.

The government of Georgia prolonged the term for submitting financial closer documents for the Anaklia Development Consortium by six months last month.

The decision to extend the deadline to accumulate the necessary funds was the request of the Anaklia Consortium.

During these six months, the government and four donor banks (EBRD, OPIC, ADB, and AIIB) should agree on whether the government of Georgia will secure freight turnover, the only undecided issue with the banks for them to issue loans for the port construction.

Last year Khazaradze and Japaridze were forced to leave the board of the TBC bank due to the possible money laundering case being investigated by the Georgian Chief Prosecutorís Office.

Khazaradze said that no violation took place and expressed doubt that some in the authorities might have been interested in the disruption of the Anaklia project, as Russia also dislikes it.