Issue 6, 2015. December-January

   

$100 Million and Two New Hospitals: Georgia's Third Public Listing opens country for more investment

Georgian Healthcare Group (GHG) became the country's third public listing - and the first non-bank listing - on the London Stock Exchange in November. Investor.ge spoke to GHG, economists and other publicly listed Georgian companies about what the listing means for the Georgian economy.

Georgia's third public listing has netted $100 million for Georgian Healthcare Group (GHG) and has helped put the country on the map for investors, GHG's general director, Nikoloz Gamkrelidze, told Investor.ge.

"Barometer for investment"


"This is investment for this country, $100 million in foreign direct investment, which will create over 2000 news jobs over the next two years," he said.

This is what is helping georgia to be on the investors' map. Basically, for everyone - locally and internationally - it becomes a barometer for investor confidence for the country...that is the most important thing."

The Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank are also publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange.

AmCham Executive Director George Welton noted the listing"helps to raise the profile of Georgia among large Western, and particularly institutional investors.

"This can only help bring more investors and more business to Georgia," he said.

"Significant landmark"

GHG's performance on the London Stock Exchange is also a "significant landmark" for Georgian businesses considering listing, according to Archil Gachechiladze, the chairmain of Galt & Taggart.

He noted that, following the successful listing of Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank, "this transaction is a significant milestone for the country as GHG will be the first non-financial sector company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange."

"This transaction confirms investors' interest in Georgia, as well as confidence in its economy and in the high standard of Georgian companies," noted Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, CEO of TBC Bank.

He also congratulated GHG on its listing.

Companies that are publicly listed "share the important responsibility of representing Georgia to the investment community and understand that these factors continue to be vital for the country's development as an investment destination," he said.

"This will be beneficial for the Georgian economy."

Scaling up services

Gamkrelidze noted that the first impact for Georgia will be two new hospitals, increased access to primary healthcare and new services.

GHG is planning on offering medical treatments at its new hospitals that are currently unavailable in the country, including pediatric cancer specialists and modern fertility treatments.

"There are many niches that the country needs to scale up to cover health services...there is a huge amount of money that is going outside of the country now," he said.

Gamkrelidze added that Georgians are spending as much as $100 million on medical treatments abroad due to either the lack of services here or the level of care available.

He said there are also plans to build over 30 new ambulatory clinics around the country, including in cities like Batumi and Kutaisi.

Gamkrelidze added that while currently Georgians spend about $200 per person on health care, there are predictions that amount could double or triple in the next decade, which would put it on par with the rates where Turkey was at in 2014.

The $200 per capita figure includes what citizens pay out of pocket, government investments and insurance payments.

"Ten years ago Turkey was where we are today," he said.

"So we need to go through this cycle as well. It will be much faster for us to get to where Turkey was in 2014 - I don't think we will need ten years to get there."