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Uzbek Foreign-Banknote-Sales Ban Impacts Black-Market Rates

The Uzbek black-market rate for U.S. dollars has risen by 50 percent.
TASHKENT -- The value of Uzbekistan's national currency has dropped dramatically on the country's black market following a ban on the sale of foreign banknotes.

RFE/RL correspondents report that $1 now costs almost 3,000 Uzbek soms in Tashkent's black market.

That's a 15 percent drop in value from the day before, when the black market rate was about 2,600 soms for $1.

Under the official rate, $1 costs 1,980 soms.

The central bank's announcement on January 30 said that as of February 1, the exchange of Uzbek soms for any foreign currency will be possible only by transfer from personal payment cards to international payment cards.

Uzbek citizens and foreigners will still be able to exchange foreign banknotes for soms.

Legal entities and companies are not affected by the new regulation.