Georgia's top banker wins international recognition

Giorgi Kadagidze, head of Georgia's National Bank was named as the Central Bank Governor of 2014 for Europe., 06 Jan 2015 - 14:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Head of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) Giorgi Kadagidze has been named as the Central Bank Governor of 2014 for Europe by the prestigious Banker Magazine.

The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times group, said its Central Banker of the Year awards celebrated the officials that had best managed to stimulate growth and stabilise their economy.

"A well-capitalised and stable banking sector, which has shown resilience against major shocks, has been a key feature of Georgia in recent years,” The Banker said.

"So much so that in a study programme funded by the World Bank, the governor of the National Bank of Georgia, Giorgi Kadagidze, shared Georgia’s experience of banking supervision with delegates from the central banks of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in 2014.”

The 34-year-old was appointed head of the NBG in February 2009.

The Banker believed Georgia had a high level of dollarisation, which remained a major challenge for Kadagidze’s monetary policy in the coming years.

"In 2014, Mr Kadagidze stimulated a de-dollarisation process, among other measures, by a widening of the collateral base of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) which improved the availability of domestic currency resources and promoted lending in lari," The Banker said.

The publication also wrote the NBG had supported the development of the local capital markets. In 2014, the first lari-denominated bond was issued by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

"Following this example, other international financial institutions (IFIs) are expected to issue in lari in 2015, according to Mr Kadagidze,” The Banker said.

The thinly traded lari faced some fluctuations in early December, the impacts of which were mainly felt by those whose income was in lari while borrowing in dollars.

The Banker said Kadagidze responded to the events by saying: "We will use all the instruments at our disposal to ensure that the current events do not have a negative impact on inflation and the financial situation of the population.”

"Given Georgia’s high economic growth rates (its gross domestic product growth rate was 5.2% in the second quarter of 2014), the national currency is expected to appreciate in the medium term. Indeed, by mid-December the lari had already recovered most of its losses,” the publication wrote.

The Banker studies world’s leading financial institutions in 149 countries and reveals the best bankers every year.