- Banking group Bank of Georgia reported jump in first-half profit as the profit as the easing of lockdown restrictions boosted the macroeconomic environment.

For the six months ended 30 June, pre-tax profit climbed to GEL375,172,000 from GEL10,179,000 year-on-year as operating income rose 24.2% to GEL638,615,000.

'[S]ince March 2021 with the removal of most of the restrictions, the economy has swiftly gained traction, and the second quarter 2021 economic indicators have significantly beaten expectations,' the company said.

'Our 2Q21 results were supported by this rebound in economic activity on the back of lifting of the lockdown restrictions and full reopening of the economy.'

'Both our retail banking and corporate and investment banking businesses delivered robust results in the second quarter of 2021.'

Net interest margin was 4.7% in 2Q21, up 50 basis points from last year and up flat year-on-year at 4.6% in the first half of the year.

'The increase in NIM primarily reflected the rebound in economic activity, coupled with the decline in cost of funds following the successful deployment of excess liquidity during the quarter,' the company added.

Looking ahead, the company cautioned that the outlook was subject to significant uncertainty as the vaccination rate is currently low and virus cases remain alleviated.

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