Demonstrating the EBRD’s return to active support in Uzbekistan, the Bank is providing a major boost to local small and medium-sized businesses in the country, as well as to domestic importers and exporters.
Under the Bank’s TFP, a trade finance facility of up to US$ 30 million is being made available to the country’s largest financial institution, the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan (NBU).
The facility is part of a larger US$ 100 million financing package that also includes a US$ 70 million credit line to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across Uzbekistan.
In addition, the Bank signed TFP limits with Ipoteka Bank for US$ 10 million and Hamkorbank for US$ 5 million.
The trade finance facility with NBU will help to support import and export transactions, further develop correspondent banking services and strengthen its trade finance product range.
And with 93 branches throughout the country, NBU will be well placed to provide much-needed financial resources to smaller businesses, especially in rural areas, by on-lending the EBRD funds to eligible companies that aim to grow their business.
The financial assistance and capacity building of the EBRD will be a great asset to the Uzbek economy.
EBRD First Vice-President Phil Bennett said: “We welcome NBU to the family of partner banks working with us in the economies where we invest. I am confident that our credit lines and financial know-how will help this institution become strong, resilient and active in supporting Uzbekistan’s economy. At the same time I am also convinced that access to new funds will strengthen and deepen the growth of Uzbek companies and help them to realise their potential.”
NBU Chairman of the Board, Sukhrob Kholmuradov, expressed his deep conviction that signing the agreement between the NBU and EBRD marked the start of a mutual cooperation on new projects which would help develop the SME sector in Uzbekistan. “The financial assistance and capacity building of the EBRD will be a great asset to the Uzbek economy,” he added.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Central Asia, with close to €11.6 billion (US$ 12.3 billion equivalent) committed to projects in a variety of sectors, from infrastructure to agriculture, with a focus on private sector development.
Between 1992 and 2010 the EBRD invested €894 million in Uzbekistan in 54 projects and its current portfolio stands at €8 million. Entering a new stage of engagement in the country, the Bank has already identified a number of possible new projects to be signed in 2018.