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Financials

Uzbekistan's Asaka Bank seeks $58 mln in minority stake offer

May 6 (Reuters) - Uzbekistan plans to raise $58 million from selling at least 15 percent in state-controlled Asaka Bank to foreign investors, the lender said on Friday, as part of a broad privatisation drive in Central Asia’s most populous nation.

The bank, which has assets of $2.6 billion, said in a presentation posted on its website (www.asakabank.com) its shareholders, the biggest of which is the finance ministry, were looking to sell the stake.

It did not name any brokers for the offer or announce plans to list on any foreign bourse.

The ex-Soviet nation, which has largely kept in place a centralised, state-dominated economic system, said last year it would sell minority stakes in about 1,200 companies to foreigners willing to bring along new technologies and expertise.

However, because Uzbekistan has no liquid stock market and its sum currency trades at less than half the official rate on the black market, local assets are difficult to value. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Susan Thomas)

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