Uzbekistan devalues currency by almost 50%


TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan has devalued its national currency by nearly 50% in an effort to entice more foreign investors after two decades of isolation.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who came to power after Islam Karimov's death last year, has ordered the national currency's rate with the dollar to be determined by the market.

Uzbekistan's central bank showed on its website on Tuesday (September 5) the dollar costing 8,100 UZS, close to twice its previous official value of 4,210 UZS and even more than the black market rate of 7,700 UZS.

The move came as the Central Asian country looks set to open itself up to foreign investors after more than two decades of isolation and protectionism under Karimov.

The devaluation, which was announced late Monday (September 4), appears to put an end to the de facto two-tier system for currency exchange in which black market dealers wielded major influence over the highly regulated economy.

The move will be welcomed by companies working with international markets who were forced to sell their foreign reserves at the miserly government rate under the old system.

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