With a forward P/E of 3.28x, could this FTSE 250 stock make me rich?

This FTSE 250 stock is one of the cheapest stocks on the index. Our writer explores why this is and explains why he’s keeping a close eye on developments.

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Shares in FTSE 250 stock Bank of Georgia (LSE:BGEO) have fallen 24.6% over the past month. And this means the fast-growing, Tbilisi-based bank is currently trading at just 3.28 times forward earnings.

It’s among the cheapest banks on the FTSE 350 — if not the cheapest.

So, could this stock make me rich?

Well, I’ve been following Bank of Georgia closely and I sold my holdings some time ago because I was worried about political unrest.

And despite the share price falling, and the very attractive price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, I’m not buying again yet.

Here’s why.

It’s political

The three biggest Georgian stocks listed in the UK — Bank of Georgia, TBC Group, and Georgia Capital — have tanked over the past month. It’s nothing specific to banking either — Georgia Capital is a privately-held real estate investment and development company.

The issue is political. Parliamentary elections will be held in October and the country has become increasingly polarised, partially because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the influx of Russians — including draft dodgers — hanging around Tbilisi.

The vast quantity of anti-Russian graffiti in the capital is testament to this highly-charged sentiment.

The incumbent ruling party, the Georgian Dream, has been in power for over a decade and has been accused of not being firm enough on Russia. The counter-argument is that relatively small Georgia can’t afford to anger its warmongering neighbour and largest trading partner.

Tensions boiled over

Tensioned boiled over in April and May as the Georgian Dream pushed forward with its ‘foreign agents’ law. The law obliges organisations that receive more than 20% of their funding from overseas sources to register as “agents of foreign influence”.

Opponents claim that the law seeks to stifle dissent and stigmatise those criticising the government in the run-up to the election, and thousands took to the streets in protest.

As investors often seek stability, it’s unsurprising that Georgian stocks have sunk. Many fear that this unrest will carry on through to the election when the country will decide between the growth-focused, but Moscow-appeasing, Georgia Dream, and a pro-EU coalition that has its own baggage.

Will it get cheaper?

Bank of Georgia is an attractively priced stock. It’s currently trading at 3.28 times projected earnings for 2024, 3.07 times earnings for 2025, and 2.73 times earnings for 2026. It’s hard to find a cheaper stock, especially one that’s growing earnings year after year.

The stock also has an amazing price-to-earnings to growth (PEG) ratio — somewhere around 0.3. That’s very appealing, especially when coupled with the 7.14% dividend yield.

However, I’m concerned there could be more volatility before the election. It’s not clear what the best outcome is for the country and commentary can be very misleading.

It’s a stock worth keeping a very close eye on. I believe finding the right entry point could help me build wealth over the long run.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

James Fox has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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