Uzbekistan Seeks To Revamp Banking Sector With Share Sale

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Uzbekistan seeks to revamp banking sector with share sale

Uzbekistan said on Friday it was planning to sell shares in banks to "strategic investors" as part of a drive to transform the country's outdated financial sector

Tashkent, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Jan, 2020 ):Uzbekistan said on Friday it was planning to sell shares in banks to "strategic investors" as part of a drive to transform the country's outdated financial sector.

"Banks with a state share will be gradually sold to strategic investors," President Shavkat Mirziyoyevaid said in a state of the nation address.

The central Asian country's banking system was "10-15 years behind modern requirements", he said.

Mirziyoyev said the move would happen "step by step" but did not propose a timeframe or the investor profile Uzbekistan would look to attract.

The state's share of the banking system overall is over 80 percent, according to the central bank.

Five out of 30 banks are fully state-owned, and a further eight 50 percent state-owned.

There are three foreign banks in which the government has a stake.

Mirziyoyev said Friday that Uzbekistan would continue to make forays into international bond markets after a debut $1 billion issue in February last year proved successful.

Mirziyoyev has been credited with opening up the former Soviet republic to tourism and investment after more than a quarter of a century of isolation under his hardline predecessor Islam Karimov.

But the authoritarian system remains intact and the first parliamentary election under his rule in December lacked opposition parties and respect for fundamental rights, according to international observers.

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