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Uzbek CB begins to limit foreign exchange trading data and delay the release of reserves report

28 February 2024 23:55 (UTC+04:00)
Uzbek CB begins to limit foreign exchange trading data and delay the release of reserves report

The Central Bank has begun to partially classify data on transactions in the foreign exchange market, Azernews reports, citing Kun.uz news agency.

Previously, in the table on the volume of currency exchange in the monthly statistical bulletin, separate information on currency trading by commercial banks was published. In the new bulletin for 2023, this section has been summarized and changed to “Currency turnover of commercial banks”.

During 11 months of 2023, foreign currency was bought by banks for $17.02 billion (+20% compared to the same period in 2022) and sold for $5.6 billion (-12.5%), that is, the difference between purchases and sales during the year Increased from $7.79 billion to $11.42 billion (+46.6%). Banks are buying more currency for their customers and selling less on the exchange.

Financier Otabek Bakirov said that this difference will be borne by the Central Bank, as well as the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Recovery and Development Fund (UFRD – a sovereign fund that receives income from the sale of gold, copper and gas above certain price limits).

In the January-November bulletin, one can see how the sharp devaluation of the soum against the dollar affected currency trading. In March 2022, after the national currency was devalued by 4.5% in three weeks, the trading volume on the exchange almost doubled, so that in April banks sold more currency than they bought (such a positive difference was not observed in the last few years).

However, in August 2023, the correction in the exchange rate, in which the national currency fell to 408 soums (-3.5%) in one day, did not lead to an increase in supply at the currency exchange. In September, the volume of sales continued to decrease, and only by October, banks began to increase the offer.

According to the final bulletin for 2023, in December, the highest volume of foreign exchange trade in the last four years (data from 2020) was $2.66 billion, which is 9.7% more than in December 2022.

In addition, the Central Bank is delaying the publication of gold-currency reserves by 20 days. The calendar of the IMF's extended disseminating system releases this monthly report on the 7th of each month.

As it was previously reported, the international reserves of Uzbekistan decreased by $1.2 billion and amounted to $34.56 billion by the end of 2023. For the first time since 2018, year-end inventories fell. The physical volume of gold decreased by nearly 25 tons during the year, and foreign exchange reserves decreased by $2.27 billion and amounted to $9.37 billion.

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