As reported by Reuters, Uzbekistan could soon sell shares in some of its biggest state companies, including energy firm Uzbekneftegaz and gold and uranium miner, Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combine.
The former Soviet republic plans to offer minority stakes in such companies on the domestic stock market before listing them abroad, Sunatulla Bekenov, head of the State Asset Management Agency informed Rueters.
The privatisation campaign is part of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s broader reform drive aiming to modernise and open up Uzbekistan’s economy which was run under a Soviet-style command system by his predecessor Islam Karimov.
The Uzbek market remained underdeveloped during Karimov’s 1989-2016 rule, with almost no foreign presence.
The State Asset Management Agency has drafted a list of 20 companies it considers should be listed first and would seek the government’s approval.
Along with Uzbekneftegaz and Navoi Mining, the list also includes Uztransgaz, a company that runs gas pipelines in the nation of 33 million, silver and gold miner Almalyk Mining and Metals Combine, and several banks.
As cited in Reuters, Saida Mirziyoyeva – elder daughter of the president and deputy head of the state agency for information and mass communications – was in favour of the plan, saying the state would ensure transparency of the privatisation process.
So far, Uzbekistan has sold on the local market small stakes in two companies, a machinery plant and a glass manufacturer.