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Awards for excellence - Uzbekistan

Best Bank

National Bank of Uzbekistan

State-owned National Bank of Uzbekistan (NBU) is the largest bank in central Asia. In its domestic market it holds around 55% of total assets, controls 90% of foreign currency transactions and acts as an agent for the government and the Central Bank in the international markets.

The banking sector in Uzbekistan is highly concentrated and, though international organizations such as the World Bank and the EBRD have provided support and technical assistance, privatization has not yet begun. In 1999, the government tried and failed to sell off 40% of the NBU. It is still seeking to do this but its target of the end of 2001 seems optimistic.

The plan currently being mooted is to sell the smaller Asaka Bank first to test the waters with foreign investors who have so far proved unwilling to invest in such an undeveloped financial system.

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