Uzbekistan is faced with a shortage of currency


Due to a severe lack of dollar and euro bills in the nation, Uzbek banks have put limits on foreign exchange transactions, bne Intellinews reported citing a Eurasianet article.

Employees at various banks in Tashkent verified to Eurasianet and other Uzbek media sites on October 14 that the daily exchange restriction is merely $500.

Representatives of the central bank were quoted by the local news source Podbrobno as saying there was no reason for alarm and that “the temporary shortage of foreign currency in cash may be related with logistical challenges at local branches of commercial banks.”

In their comments to Podbrobno, officials did add that the “present geopolitical scenario” had caused a dramatic increase in the volume of cross-border money transfers, which had increased the need for hard currency.

Geopolitical references were used, specifically the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The international community as a whole reacted to the military campaign with a wave of sanctions, some of which affected Russians’ ability to conduct international cash transactions.

Since that time, people in Russia have viewed Central Asian nations as a reliable source of dollars and other foreign money.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, worries have been expressed regarding a scarcity of foreign currency in Uzbekistan. In March, Mamarizo Nurmuratov, the chairman of the central bank, gave assurances that no crisis was imminent and that the nation had sufficient foreign currency to cover demand for exchange transactions for at least three to four months.

According to him, imposing currency restrictions would be a step backward for Uzbekistan given ongoing efforts to control inflation.

Not all banks have issued warnings that currency controls may be necessary. One of the main lenders in the nation, Sanoat Qurilish Bank, informed Eurasianet that there is currently no cap on the amount of dollars that customers can purchase.

Customer accounts of banks differ. They claim that the restrictions have actually been in place for a number of weeks. Since August, certain bank locations have stopped giving consumers more than $500, despite the fact that head offices usually don’t have any such limitations.

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