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Uzbekistan: Loan To Aid New Bank

London, 18 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (RBRD) is making a $5 million equity investment in a new South Korean-backed Uzbek bank.

The London-based EBRD said the UzDaewoo Bank (UZB) will provide commercial and investment banking services for local private sector companies. The EBRD statement said the investment aims to widen the competitive base of Uzbekistan's banking sector.

EBRD first vice president Ron Freeman said the bank is expected to play a key role in mobilizing additional funds for the region.

He said it will facilitate transfer of skills and know-how, such as the development of sound banking practices, credit and risk management and new product development, now in big demand in Uzbekistan.

The EBRD has funded four other projects in Uzbekistan's financial sector, worth a total of $117 million. There are presently 32 commercial banks in Uzbekistan, as well as a number of foreign banks.