Uzbekistan's external debt makes up almost quarter of GDP
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug 30
By Fakhri Vakilov-Trend:
As of 1H2019, the size of the external public debt of Uzbekistan amounted to $13.09 billion or 23.5 percent of GDP, Trend reports citing Uzbek media.
Deputy Minister of Finance of Uzbekistan Odilbek Isakov announced this during a briefing with reporters.
External debt growth amounted to $3.2 billion compared to the end of 2018. Of these, a billion falls on the issue of Eurobonds, another billion are government guarantees (the state guarantees 30 percent of the loan amount on external operations, 50 percent on internal operations).
According to the deputy minister, such a size of external debt is estimated by the Ministry of Finance and international financial institutions as moderate.
Isakov emphasized that the ministry takes a cautious, conservative approach to managing public debt. Currently, with the support of the World Bank and the IMF, a medium-term strategy for its management is being developed.
Most of the external debt falls to international financial institutions and creditor countries: China, Japan, Germany, Russia and others.
Basically, external borrowings are long-term - for 30-40 years. In addition, they have a grace period when only interest is paid, and not the principal amount of the debt.
Considering the domestic debt, as of July 30, its volume amounted to $5.4 billion. Of these, 97 percent falls on the state, 3 percent - the issue of state short-term securities.
The official stressed that in recent years Uzbekistan has made a large amount of investment in economic development, including the implementation of state programs.
He added that an important direction for Uzbekistan is the development of the capital market. According to him, at present, only commercial banks buy government securities. Isakov noted that it is necessary to diversify investors, to enter the market of insurance companies, foreign investment funds. The issue of long-term debt securities should also be increased.
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