EU & World Bank Name Winners of 2022 Transparency Award

TBILISI, December 14, 2022 – The Best Annual Report and Transparency Award (BARTA) ceremony was held today in Tbilisi, the fourth occasion for celebration of this award since its establishment under the joint World Bank and European Union project Georgia Financial Inclusion and Accountability, which was launched in partnership with the Accounting Reform’s Stakeholders’ Foundation (RSF).

The BARTA 2022 ceremony showcased 16 nominated companies, and was presided over by a distinguished international panel of judges. The selection process was conducted using a robust methodology that emphasized, among other things, the provision of non-financial information which addresses intangible assets, such as brand, customer reputation, know-how and goodwill, which drive corporate value. Judges noted continuous improvement in the quality of reporting over the previous years, as well as the increasing amount of sustainability reporting.

“Congratulations to those companies that are leading the way in providing quality and transparent reporting – including on sustainability. We are pleased to see the family of best performing companies in Georgia expanding and hope they inspire others to do the same. Under its Economic and Investment Plan and beyond, the EU remains committed to supporting Georgia’s sustainable economic development and to improve the business climate for Georgian business, consumers and investors alike,” said Catalin Gherman, Acting Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Georgia.

“High quality corporate reporting – both in terms of financial and sustainability reporting – is essential to the Georgian economy’s competitiveness, growth, and resilience,” said Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “BARTA is playing a vital role in incentivizing and encouraging improved corporate reporting and evolving in line with European and global trends and best practices in financial and sustainability reporting. Greater transparency will help Georgia become even more attractive to investors, both domestic and foreign.”

First launched in December 2019, BARTA is a part of a concerted effort to address challenges in the quality and transparency of corporate reporting among Georgian companies. Following the enactment of Georgia’s Law on Accounting, Reporting and Auditing in 2016, this annual award is intended to encourage compliance with the new reporting regulations, foster healthy competition between companies, and improve the overall standard of corporate reporting as part of the country’s quest to build up investor trust and confidence both at local and international levels.

Over the coming few years, sustainability reporting in the EU will become mandatory for all large and listed companies. This makes BARTA all the more relevant with this year’s awards: alongside category awards for best non-financial reporting by Large Financial Institutions, Large Non-financial Institutions, and Small and Medium Companies, the nominations include two awards for sustainability reporting.

The winners in each of the 7 award categories announced this year, are as follows:

· Winner Large Financial Institutions – JSC TBC Bank

· Honorary Award for Large Financial Institutions – JSC MFO Crystal

· Winner Large Non-Financial Institutions (with 500 or more staff) – JSC Georgian Railway

· Winner Small and Medium Companies (with less than 500 staff) – JSC TBC Leasing

· Honorary Award for Small and Medium Companies (with less than 500 staff) – MFO MBC Capital

· Best Sustainability Report – JSC Bank of Georgia

· Honorary Award for Sustainability Report – JSC Lisi Lake Development

“It is notable that the BARTA is becoming more and more popular year by year, and there is a growing interest from the companies to participate in the competition and win this honorable award. All this contributes to the introduction and establishment of widespread corporate governance and appropriate reporting in accordance with international standards and best practices, which in turn will have a positive impact on Georgia’s investment environment,” said Giorgi Tabuashvili, Chairman of the Board of RSF.

This year the BARTA competition was open to all public interest entities (PIEs), which includes all A and B listing companies, admitted to trading companies, banks, insurance companies, among others.

Public Release. More on this here.