Press Releases

IFC Supports Uzbekistan's SME Sector by Financing Asakabank

Elika Trifonova
Phone:  (202) 458 8357

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


Tashkent, December 10, 2002—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an investment agreement for US$5 million credit with one of Uzbekistan’s leading banks, Asakabank. The credit line is intended for on-lending to small and medium sized companies. This is IFC’s second credit line with Asakabank.

This credit line will support Uzbekistan’s SMEs and the export sector. IFC’s first credit line financed 11 projects covering virtually all the sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy.

Gorton De Mond, IFC’s Regional Representative, said: “The proposed investment is intended to develop Uzbekistan’s export potential, create more jobs and strengthen the private sector.”

Asaka Bank was created in 1995 as a “Specialized State Joint-Stock Commercial Bank.” While it is majority state owned, it operates on a commercial basis. In July 1998, the Government of Uzbekistan announced its plans to privatize one or two state-owned banks, as part of its bank reform effort, and asked IFC and EBRD for assistance. Asaka has been selected as a candidate, and IFC and EBRD are jointly advising the Government of Uzbekistan on the sale of up to 49 percent of Asaka’s shares.

IFC’s mission ( is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2002, IFC committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion for our own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

Asaka Bank