25 March 2023

Ipoteka-Bank was privatized for $324 million

The Uzbek authorities sold the state stake in Ipoteka Bank for $324 million. This is the largest privatization deal in recent years. This was reported by “Gazeta.Uz”.

The state stake in Ipoteka-Bank was sold for $324 million. The amount was first announced on March 24 at a meeting chaired by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, which discussed the privatization of state property and plans in this area for the year.

In total, state assets worth 11.3 trillion soums (about $989.6 million) were sold in 2022. That is, Ipoteka-Bank brought almost a third of the proceeds from the sale of state property.

The agreement on the privatization of Ipoteka-Bank was signed in December 2022. Under the agreement, the Hungarian OTP Bank acquires 100% of Ipoteka-Bank shares owned by the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan (almost 97% of the total stake) in two stages: 75% of the shares now and the remaining 25% – three years after the financial closing of the first transaction, which is expected to take place in the first half of 2023.

Bank “Ipoteka-Bank” is the fifth largest bank in Uzbekistan with a market share of 8.5% and a retail clientele of more than 1.6 million people.

OTP Bank has been negotiating with the government of Uzbekistan on the possibility of participating in the privatization of the Uzbek banking sector from the end of 2020.

This is the largest privatization deal in Uzbekistan in recent years, along with the sale of a 57.12% state stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan to Turkish Coca-Cola İçecek for $252.28 million in the summer of 2021.

Together with OTP Bank, other companies from Hungary are expected to enter the market of Uzbekistan. At the beginning of the year, it became known that construction of an industrial zone for Hungarian companies would begin in Tashkent. This issue was discussed during the visit of the President of Uzbekistan to Budapest in October. The issue of joint production of medical equipment, electronics and components on the basis of Technopark will also be worked out.