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Uzbekistan Bans Foreign Banknote Sales To Individuals

The official rate: $1 equals 1,980 Uzbek soms
Uzbekistan has banned the sale of foreign banknotes to its citizens as of February 1.

On January 30, Uzbekistan's Central Bank announced that the exchange of the Uzbek soms for any foreign currency will be possible only by transfer from personal payment cards to international payment cards.

Exchange offices will remain open as Uzbek citizens and foreigners will still be able to exchange foreign banknotes for Uzbek soms.

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

The Central Bank said the move was necessary to fight the illegal use of foreign currencies in retail and service-oriented businesses.

According to the official rate, $1 equals 1,980 Uzbek soms.

However, the black market price for U.S. dollars is about 35 percent higher.

Based on reporting by Interfax and RFE/RL's Uzbek Service