Germany-based Commerzbank has been granted the license for a representative office in Baku by the National Bank of Azerbaijan. The bank is hoping to share in the economic growth of the Caucasus region with this 28th representative office abroad.

The new office in the capital of Azerbaijan will be headed by Marco Graff, who has already gained experience in the banking business of the former CIS countries from more than a decade of service to Commerzbank in Central Asia and Russia. The new representative office will open for business locally in November 2008.

The office will initially cover the Azerbaijan and Georgian markets; Armenia may be added at a later date. The main task of the office in Baku will be to maintain close contact with the National Bank, local banks, government and international institutions and local business communities. It will also advise German corporate clients wishing to benefit from the opportunities arising from the positive economic performance in Azerbaijan and Georgia. The office will also carry out market research.

Per Fischer, head of financial institutions at Commerzbank, said: The markets in the countries in the Caucasus are experiencing extremely strong growth. Gross domestic product in Azerbaijan is increasing at an annual rate of over 30%, not least as a result of its abundance of commodities. We intend to use our new representative office in Baku to further expand our investment in the region.