OREANDA-NEWS. February 07, 2011.  The Second Azerbaijan Corporate Governance Project (ACGP-II) of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and SECO have begun realizing an agreement with Rabitabank on technical assistance in the area of increasing corporate governance standards.

ACGP director Caroline Bright says that implementation of the agreement has been started and Rabitabank has become their fifth pilot organization.

"We’ll work with them concurrently with entering in the Bank’s capital by the IFC and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). There will be improved relations between shareholders and management. The main work will be done until the summer, but we think we will finish our work in the autumn,” Ms. Bright said.

Under the agreement, it will be assessed the corporate governance practices at the bank and proposed a plan to bring governance standards in line with international practice. The IFC experts will advise the shareholders, the Supervisory Board and management of Rabitabank, and conduct review of corporate documentation, procedures and regulations the Bank uses.

IFC’s Corporate Governance Project has been operating since 2005 and aims to help local companies and banks to enhance operations and increase their ability to attract financing and investment.

Rabitabank is a long-time partner of the IFC. In 1997 Rabitabank was among first financial institutions that received a credit line from the Corporation. In recent years, the partnership has expanded up to several credit lines for financing small and medium-size business and technical assistance projects.

On 30 September 2010, Rabitabank and the IFC signed an agreement on sale of 12.5% and one share of the Bank to the Corporation.

Rabitabank has been operating in Azerbaijan since 1993. By the end of the third quarter of 2010, its assets amounted to AZN 116 million and capital AZN 16 million. Currently Bank’s branch network comprises 20 branches and sub-branches, including 6 in Baku and 14 in regions of Azerbaijan.