EBRD financing for micro and small businesses in Uzbekistan

By Ina Coretchi

The EBRD is increasing further the availability of financing to private businesses in Uzbekistan with a $5 million credit line to Hamkor Bank for on-lending to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

The banking sector in Uzbekistan is largely dominated by state-owned banks, which hold 85 per cent of the market share. Hamkor Bank is one of the leading private banks in Uzbekistan, with a wide geographical coverage.

The EBRD loan will help Hamkor Bank to develop further its lending activities, targeting micro and small businesses in the country, currently underserved by the large state banks.

The proceeds of the EBRD credit line will be used to finance investments and working capital of local businesses with medium-term loans, boosting the levels of banking intermediation in Uzbekistan.

“Through this transaction the EBRD is building on its successful cooperation with Hamkor Bank, aiming to increase the availability of the much needed financing and support the development of the private sector in Uzbekistan”, said Matthieu Le Blan, Head of the EBRD Office in Uzbekistan.

“The partnership with the EBRD is important to Hamkor Bank. This financing is dedicated to improve and develop the private sector in the country, increase Hamkor Bank’s loan porfolio and enhance other financial services. The utilisation of the new credit line will support the economy and ensure continued growth in the region”, said the Chairman of the Board of Hamkor Bank, Mr. Shahruh Hakimov.

Previously the EBRD has supported Hamkor Bank through various financing facilities with the total amount of $18 million.

Since the beginning of its operations in Uzbekistan, the EBRD has invested about €550 million into more than 50 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy.