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Uzbekistan

Best bank
Asaka Bank Best investment bank
Carthill Capital

Asaka Bank wins the best bank award for its strong growth in the past 18 months. Its assets grew by 36.5% in 2003, while its loan portfolio grew by 27% in the first half of last year.

According to Uzbek bankers, its non-performing loan problems are less acute than those of the National Bank of Uzbekistan, the largest bank in the country.

The best investment bank award goes to Carthill Capital, which is doing well in combining western-style banking techniques with local political knowledge and connections.

It was the number one arranger of corporate bonds in the past 12 months, and has done 50% of all the bonds ever done in Uzbekistan. Indeed, the chairman of its supervisory board, Anvar Rasulev, helped to create the legal framework for the bond markets when he was deputy finance minister.

It arranged the first leveraged buyout in the country and the first M&A deal between two Uzbek companies. It has also advised on landmark transactions such as the acquisition by Wimm-Bill-Dann of a Tashkent dairy, and the Tashkent listing of Oxus Gold.

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