Soccer star Kaladze kicks off banking business

14:04, 29 January 2008
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His business partner is a British financial group

Georgian soccer player Kakha Kaladze, 29, who plays for Italy`s AC Milan, is to set up a bank in the ex-Soviet republic, the country`s National Bank said on Monday, according to RIA Novosti.

Kaladze, who will hold an 80% stake in the new Progressbank, has already obtained the relevant license. The newly-made businessman refused to disclose his business partner, a British financial group, until after the bank has been officially presented this summer.

Kaladze has become more involved in Georgian commercial enterprises recently. He bought the Kolkheti hotel in the country`s autonomous area of Adzharia for $5 million at an auction.

The sportsman also owns a gambling business in Tbilisi. He plans to publish Max magazine in Georgia and will work on the publication of the Ukrainian version of the men`s glossy.

Kaladze became Georgia`s most expensive soccer player after AC Milan paid 16 million euros for the defender to Ukrainian side FC Dynamo Kyiv in 2001.

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