London Stock Exchange welcomes IFC celebrating the uzbek soum denominated bond

London Stock Exchange today welcomes the listing of the world’s first ever international Uzbek Soum- denominated bonds to its Main Market. The landmark bond issuance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, paves the way for the opening of the global Samarkand bond market to support financing of companies from Uzbekistan while raising the profile of the Uzbek Soum internationally.

The two-year dated Samarkand bonds raised UZS 160 billion (USD 20 million equivalent) and secured strong global investor support. The proceeds of the bonds will be used to expand lending for micro, small and medium-sized companies in Uzbekistan. Through JSCB Hamkorbank, the country’s leading private bank, long-term local currency financing will be boosted, enabling businesses to grow and avoid foreign currency borrowing-related risks.

Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer:
“This historic Uzbekistan Soum bond issued by triple A-rated IFC is an important capital markets innovation. The Samarkand will help provide local currency solutions for Hamkorbank that will benefit its small and medium-sized business customers. Going forward we see this pioneering issuance having a positive flow-on effect, connecting international investor demand for Soum bonds with a wide range of financing needs in Uzbekistan.”

Ikram Ibragimov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hamkorbank:
“IFC is a long-term dependable and strategic partner of JSCB Hamkorbank. Ever since the Central Bank successfully initiated the process of liberalization of foreign currency in Uzbekistan, JSCB Hamkorbank
and IFC developed a plan aimed at diversifying the sources and methods of financing in local currency.

“As a result we achieved joint success and plan to further explore various means of implementing the latest local currency and hedging solutions in Uzbekistan.”

Mr Shukhrat Vafaev, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Investments of Uzbekistan:
"We saw broad global investor interest in IFC’s inaugural Uzbek Soum bond. The watershed issuance will help raise the profile of the currency in international debt capital markets.”