September 23, 2017 / 8:52 AM / in 10 months

Uzbekistan to allow forex cash sales to individuals by Oct.1

JARKUDUK, Uzbekistan, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov said on Saturday the government would allow foreign currency sales in cash to individuals by Oct. 1 for the first time in decades.

The central bank devalued the sums this month, allowing the official exchange rate to weaken to about 8,100 sums to the dollar from 4,210. The move to let the currency float made legal transactions more attractive than the black market, where the rate had been around 7,700.

Asked if the government planned to further devalue the national currency, the prime minister told reporters: “The market will show that”.

In a decree published in September, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev ordered the government and the central bank to launch retail foreign exchange operations with no restrictions from Sept. 5. But in that decree Uzbeks could only receive the money on special bank cards but not in cash.

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova, Writing by Denis Pinchuk

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