The profit of banks in Tajikistan over the past year increased by 11% and reached more than 1 billion somoni. Some of these banks are directly related to the president’s relatives or people close to the “first family”. The authorities do not comment on this issue.
Economics expert Amoni Asror questioned the increase in bank profitability at a time when incomes of families and small and medium-sized enterprises increased only marginally last year.
“ Healthy competition has not yet formed”
According to statistics published on the website of the National Bank and analyzed on March 12 by Radio Ozodi journalist, Dushanbe City Bank, a relatively young player in the financial market of Tajikistan, made a profit of 150 million somoni last year.
70% of the bank’s shares are owned by the Avesto Group company, whose director Mirzo Muhammad is known as one of the close associates of Rustam Emomali, the mayor of Dushanbe and the son of the President of Tajikistan. This company was established in 2016 and today controls many industries – from the production of water under the Siyoma brand to the development and implementation of an electronic fare collection system for public transport in Dushanbe and Khujand.
One of the largest banks in the country, Orienbank, which is headed by the president’s brother-in-law Hassan Asadullozoda, and his deputy is the president’s daughter Zarina Rahmon, last year received a net profit of 98.4 million somoni, which is 30.3 million compared to 2021. less somoni.
The International Bank of Tajikistan, whose shareholders are CJSC Tajik Catering Service and a private individual Kholov Sherali Safaralievich, estimated its profitability last year at 92.5 million somoni. The International Bank of Tajikistan owns several other companies, including the insurance company Standard-Bima and the leasing company Standard Ichora. The co-owner of these two companies is Jamshed Sheralievich Gulov. According to opposition publications Payem and Islokh, Jamshed Gulov is the brother of Ashraf Gulov, the son-in-law of the President and Ambassador of Tajikistan to Turkey.
“Commerzbank of Tajikistan” reported that last year it made a profit of more than 43 million somoni. According to the Unified Register of Legal Entities of Tajikistan, the owner of OJSC Commerzbank of Tajikistan is Faroz, which is owned by Shamsullo Sohibov, another son-in-law of the President of Tajikistan.
Spitamen Bank, whose shareholder is the insurance company Spitamen-Sugurta, reported to the National Bank of Tajikistan on a net profit of more than 27 million somoni over the past year. According to reliable sources, this bank previously belonged to the President’s son-in-law Jamoliddin Nuraliev, but a year ago he, being the first deputy of the National Bank of Tajikistan, denied these reports.
Amoni Asror, an economics expert who previously worked at a systemically important bank and now lives outside the country, said: “It appears that healthy competition has not yet developed in the Tajik banking market.”
Based on the latest statistics, he believes that “the success of the bank depends more on its owner, how he is connected with influential people in the government of Tajikistan.”
At the same time, in accordance with the statistics given on the website of the National Bank, the net profit of the commercial bank “Eskhata” exceeded 317 million somoni. This is the highest rate among banks in the country.
The annual profit of the First Microfinance Bank in 2022 amounted to more than 39 million somoni. About 84% of the shares of this bank belong to the structures of the Aga Khan Foundation. During the same period, the State Bank of Tajikistan “Amonatbank” received a profit in the amount of 101.6 million somoni, and “Sanoatsodirotbank” – in the amount of 35.6 million somoni.
Alifbank increased its net profit to 42.6 million somoni over the year. As reported on the website of the National Bank of the country, Alif Capital Holdings limited holds a full stake in this bank. One of the leaders of the holding is a Tajik entrepreneur Khofiz Shakhidi, who lives in Monaco.
The only bank that completed its activities last year with a loss of about 1 million somoni was Halyk Bank Tajikistan. Earlier, the shares of this bank were purchased from the Kazakh owner by the International Bank of Tajikistan.
Economic expert Amoni Asror says that the profit of a bank or microcredit organization is a natural process, and this is a healthy economic phenomenon. “The purpose of establishing a bank is to make a profit. However, with the incomes of households, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in Tajikistan over the past year not significantly increased, a sudden 11 percent increase in bank profitability is doubtful,” he explained.
But despite his doubts, he listed possible reasons for the increase in profits of banks in Tajikistan: “On the one hand, the somoni has appreciated against the dollar over the past year. This was an unprecedented event in the history of the country’s independence. On the other hand, the ruble exchange rate jumped, and the majority of labor migrants send money transfers from Russia in rubles, and banks make good money on this. Despite the growth of the somoni exchange rate, the interest on bank loans did not decrease, and, of course, this factor also contributed to an increase in the profitability of banks.”
There are 15 banks operating in Tajikistan. According to the National Bank, there are also 20 micro-deposit organizations, 3 micro-credit organizations and 26 micro-credit funds. Over the past seven years, four major banks in Tajikistan, including two backbone banks, Tojiksodirotbank and Agroinvestbank, have been declared bankrupt.
Source : Rus Ozodi