The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million policy-based financing to support policy, regulatory, and institutional reforms needed to create an enabling environment for competitive financial markets in Uzbekistan.
ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov, said: “As Uzbekistan accelerates its transition toward a market economy, robust and competitive domestic financial markets are essential for mobilizing private investment. ADB will help develop financial markets in Uzbekistan and stimulate private investment—a key driver of economic growth and an important source of new jobs in the country.”
ADB’s Financial Markets Development Program will support reform measures to deepen and broaden Uzbekistan’s financial markets. It seeks to promote a more liquid government bond market and diversify the investor base. The program will also help develop critical market infrastructure, including surveillance systems and enhance the supply of alternative financial instruments such as exchange-traded funds.
ADB Principal Financial Sector Specialist Syed Ali-Mumtaz H. Shah, said: “The program will help reduce systemic vulnerabilities in Uzbekistan’s financial system through diversification away from a predominantly bank-based system of financial intermediation. It will promote the development of the corporate securities market, enhance demand from institutional investors such as insurance companies, diversify the financial instruments available, and broaden the investor base. By strengthening governance of the financial markets, the program will enhance market efficiency and improve investor protection.”
ADB will provide a $500,000 technical assistance grant to support key reform actions under the program.
Uzbekistan joined ADB in 1995. Since then, ADB has committed loans, grants, and technical assistance amounting to $10.1 billion for the country.
ADB Principal Public Management Economist Çiğdem Akın added: “The program will play an important role in enabling investors to gain access to alternative investment opportunities and helping raise funds cost-effectively. This will help Uzbekistan diversify its financial system and advance toward its socioeconomic development objectives.”
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.