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Awards for excellence - Kyrgyz Republic

Best bank

Demir Kyrgyz International Bank

Most of Kyrgyzstan feels its money is safer under the mattress than in any one of the country's 22 banks - all but two of which are privately owned. Of the 42% of money in circulation within the banking system, most is deposited with Demir Kyrgyz International Bank (DKIB), which wins the best bank award again this year.

Though its largest shareholder - Demirbank of Turkey - is now up for sale, this seems to have had little impact on DKIB's position as the soundest financial institution in the Kyrygz Republic.

DKIB was founded in 1997 by a consortium of international sponsors to inject some confidence into the economy. Given the limited retail opportunities, it has concentrated on the corporate side, mainly through fee and commission based-business because lending is perceived to be too risky.

However it may soon have to change that strategy now that a new investment bank, Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank - which has the backing of the IFC and the EBRD and will be run by the Aga Khan Fund for economic development - has just been set up.

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