Internally the power saving led to external players to pay extra attention and conduct activity.
Russia inches closer on lucrative territories of Uzbek petroleum market with Uzbekistan’s Jizzakh Petroleum, signing an agreement for $800m with Russian Gazprombank, Russia’s State development corporation VEB.RF and the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investments Insurance to finance a $2.8bn construction project of a 1.5 bcm methanol-to-olefins gas processing plant in the region of Bukhara.
In a bid to exercise its influence, the Cypriot Ferkensco Management Limited also signed 2 agreements with Gazprombank to finance the construction of a $350m ammonia-based fertilisers production plant in the Syrdarya region and of a vertically integrated complex for mineral fertilisers production in the Samarkand region. The latter includes the construction of a processing plant and the development of phosphorite deposits in Navoi.
Kazakhstan rebuffed the statement made by Russian deputy foreign minister Pankin about there being discussions within the Eurasian Economic Union of imposing sanctions against the West jointly as a bloc in response to EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister reaffirmed the economic nature of the EAEU Treaty and the country’s position against its politicisation.
Centil's team in Tashkent advised Abu Dhabi Uzbek Investment, a JV of the Abu Dhabi's Development Fund and Uzbekistan’s Funds for Development and Reconstruction with $100m in funds under management, invested $20m in AKFA Medline’s corporate bonds placed on closed subscription for 5 years. The largest private medical centre in Central Asia was raising funds for the construction of a campus of its University, in the Tashkent region.
Inching closer on lucrative territories, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan signed agreements for a total value of $730m in the context of their first intergovernmental investment forum. The agreements provide for the establishment of an Uzbek-Tajik Investment Fund with an authorised capital of $50m to support cross-border projects, including in agriculture and car production and the construction of 2 hydropower-stations by the Zarafshan river.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development agreed to issue a $25m Green Economy Financing Facility loan to Uzbekistan’s Uzpromstroybank to support local small and medium-sized enterprises willing to invest in climate mitigation, in adaptation technologies and services. UzPSB will also receive up to $20m from the EBRD under the risk sharing framework to build its lending capacity.
In addition the country stands to receive another loan from the bank in the amount of $70m for the modernisation project of the water-supply infrastructure in the Namangan region. The loan will be complemented by $14m from the state budget. The funds will be invested in the reparation of existing and the construction of new water intakes works, water distribution systems and sewage treatment plants in 7 rural settlements.
US lifted sanctions on three former Iranian state officials and two companies previously involved in the sanctioned Iranian petrochemical sector, after Tehran demanded Washington lift sanctions before it agrees to curb its nuclear programme. Only one week from Iran’s next presidential elections, the West is under pressure to finalise the deal in the upcoming days. At the same time, the US Treasury sanctioned members of an Iran-based network that the US suspected of funding the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran-backed Houthi fighters in Yemen.
Western troops are also under pressure in Afghanistan, as mine clearers working for the UK-based Halo Trust were shot in Afghanistan at the hands of the Islamic State, adding to the increased Hazara-targeted attacks across the country. Concerned with the government’s ability to ensure secure evacuation of foreign personnel, the US military is also considering proceeding to airstrikes if needed.
Incidentally, the Taliban insisted that Turkey withdraw its troops along with the other foreign troops under the 2020 deal in response to Ankara’s proposal to take over and run Kabul’s airport after the United States-led NATO forces depart, in Turkey’s attempt to normalise relations with Washington and reinforce its influence in the region.