DUSHANBE Dec 21 Tajikistan's government said on
Wednesday it would borrow $490 million from the central bank to
bail out four local lenders amid a widening banking crisis.
The money will go to Agroinvestbank and Tojiksodirotbank,
the country's two biggest lenders, as well as to two smaller
banks, Tajprombank and Fononbank, Finance Minister Abdusalom
Kurboniyon told parliament.
Under the plan, the government will issue special notes and
hand them to banks which will pledge their assets in return.
Banks will then be able to sell the notes to the central bank,
The government will also set up supervisory boards at all
four banks whose customers this year had trouble withdrawing
money from their accounts.
The bailout amount represents more than a fifth of
Tajikistan's state budget. The finance minister did not say how
the government planned to finance the additional spending.
Although the former Soviet republic does not export oil, its
economy has taken a hit from the drop in energy prices because
many Tajiks work in Russia to provide for their families.
The share of bad loans in Tajik banks' consolidated loan
book surged to 58.7 percent as of Sept.30 from 37.8 percent a
year earlier, according to central bank data.
(Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov;
Editing by Gareth Jones)