Georgia: weekly market watch

Stock and bond markets: Last week the Galt & Taggart Index (GTI) fell by 9.04% to 561.8 in GEL terms on a trading volume of GEL 95,358. Four blue chip stocks traded on the Georgian Stock Exchange: Bank of Georgia (GEB, Buy, down 10.47%), Galt & Taggart Capital (GTC, Buy, unchanged), United Telecom of Georgia (UTC, Hold, unchanged) and People’s Bank of Georgia (AMB, up 33.33%). Blue chip stocks accounted for 100% of the total weekly trading volume.

Last week Bank of Georgia’s global depositary receipts (GDRs) fell by 3.3% on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: BGEO) to US$ 18. Total of 45,998 GDRs traded on LSE last week.


External debt


Total amount of Georgia’s foreign debt and state-guaranteed loans was US$ 2.38bn as of 30 June 2008 according to the data released by the Ministry of Finance.


Georgia currently has 15 countries-bilateral creditors. The key lenders to Georgia are: Austria (US$ 1.77mn), Azerbaijan (US$ 14.43mn), Turkmenistan (US$ 1.61mn), Turkey (US$ 44.7mn), Iran (US$ 11.32mn), Russia (US$ 119.99mn), USA (US$ 39.84mn), Armenia (US$ 17.42mn), Uzbekistan (US$ 378,000), Ukraine (US$ 345,000), Kazakhstan (US$ 27.77mn), Germany (US$ 182.4mn), Japan (US$ 50.95mn), Kuwait (US$ 14.12mn) and Netherlands (US$ 9.38mn). Georgia also owes US$ 1.32bn to international financial institutions and organizations. The main creditors here are the International Monetary Fund – US$ 240.86mn (with the National Bank of Georgia being the main beneficiary of these funds used mainly for beefing up country’s foreign currency reserves); the World Bank – US$ 951.61mn; the International Fund of Agricultural Development – US$ 12.7mn and the European Union – US$ 90.53mn. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also among Georgia’s largest creditors with the state guaranteed loans in the amount of US$ 7.9mn.


State budget


According to the latest data from the Georgian Treasury, expenditures of the State Budget in January-June 2008 were GEL 3.69bn.


Funding of labor, public health care services and social welfare programs amounted to GEL 629.4mn, including GEL 366.9mn spent on pensions, compensations and state scholarships. Spending on public health care programs reached GEL 96.1mn, rehabilitation of medical institutions – GEL 4.9mn, compensation for social privileges – GEL 26.9mn, programs for the social support – GEL 54.1mn.

Spending on education rose to GEL 178.2mn, including funding of voucher programs – GEL 124.4mn and construction and repairing of schools – GEL 11.9mn, programs for supporting science – GEL 12.7mn, programs of higher education – GEL 14.8mn. GEL 38.2mn were spent by the Ministry of Culture, Protection of Monuments and Sports, including funding of the presidential programs – GEL 10.2mn, art programs – GEL 10.5mn, programs of cultural heritage – GEL 4.3mn. GEL 36.4mn was spent by the Ministry of Justice on prisons repair and maintenance.


FX Market


Last week GEL/US$ exchange rate rose by 0.94%. The weekly turnover on the Tbilisi Interbank Currency Exchange (TICEX) was US$ 24.8mn, the same as in the previous week. The National Bank of Georgia’s (NBG) net sales were US$ 18mn.


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