The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Uzbekistan outlines path to banking sector reform

New plans to clean up Soviet-style banking sector will see underperforming legacy loans transferred to state fund.

Uzbek policymakers have announced plans to clean up the balance sheets of the country’s largest banks as part of a drive to restructure and privatize the state-dominated sector.

Nearly 30 years after the end of the Soviet Union, publicly owned lenders still account for more than 80% of total banking assets in Uzbekistan.

Odilbek Isakov 160x186

Odilbek Isakov

Under former leader Islam Karimov, most were used as policy banks, channelling subsidized funding from the country’s sovereign wealth fund to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and government projects.

Loans were routinely rescheduled, profitability was meagre and the banks required regular recapitalization from the state budget.  

The government of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who took over as president after Karimov’s death in September 2016, is now looking to overhaul the sector as part of a wider drive to reform and revitalize the Uzbek economy.

Speaking on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank annual meeting in Washington DC, first deputy finance minister Odilbek Isakov outlined policymakers’ strategy for the sector.

“Our intention is to transform the state-owned banks into proper commercial lenders that in due course we can either sell to strategic banks or IPO,” he said.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree