Uzbek government to cut funding to commercial banks


TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan's government will no longer financially back commercial banks, AKIpress reported Thursday (December 6), citing First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan Timur Ishmetov.

The government plans to sell its stake in commercial banks to foreign investors, Ishmetov said.

"Banks are commercial organisations and should make money," he said. "Many banks forget about that. Particularly, state-owned banks have become accustomed to receiving public funding."

"The situation has changed now," he said. "The government won't provide funding to state-owned banks anymore and will reduce its stakes in banks. A certain number of shares will be sold to foreign investors."

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, plans to acquire 15% of Ipoteka Bank's shares by extending it a loan, he said. The IFC will gain seats on the bank's board and yet it develop corporate governance, he added.

Uzbekistan's central bank will review the country's credit system because the previous system of soft loans slowed down the development of commercial banks, said Ishmetov.

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