Shareholders of Uzagroexportbank at the Aug 10 shareholder meeting approved the change of the bank’s name and rebranding. The bank’s name has been changed to AVO Bank. While, the maximum amount of declared bank shares has been raised to 200 billion ordinary shares worth 20 soums each.
The bank is part of the AVO group of companies together with the IT company AVO Services and Technology. The name AVO is an abbreviation for the word “havo”, which means “air” in Uzbek. “Just as the air is weightless, omnipresent, and clean, so the financial services we provide are accessible, understandable and easy to use on a daily basis,” the company said in a statement.
The statement added that the company was creating a “leading retail bank in Uzbekistan.”
“Possessing advanced technologies, a banking license and extensive experience in creating successful banking and FinTech projects around the world (India, Singapore, Mexico, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, etc.), we managed to implement a modern and unique user experience for the country’s market “assisted self-service”, which includes not only the bank’s mobile app that provides complete self-service, but also an effective customer service that supports customer education on the path to a fully digitalized experience of using financial services,” the company said.
Privatization of Uzagroexportbank
Joint-Stock Commercial “Uzagroexportbank” was established by a decree of the President of Uzbekistan on January 24, 2017. The goals of creating the bank were declared to be the creation of favorable conditions for agricultural producers and the population, financial support for exporting organizations and the development of the potential for the export of fruits and vegetables.
In May 2021, the bank was put up for sale. In February 2022, Uzagroexportbank was bought by the Russian Sovcombank for $4 million, but due to US sanctions, the deal was canceled in the summer of the same year.
At the end of October 2022, it was reported that it was planned to transfer the state block of shares under a closed government decree (a document “for official use”) to Support Level, subject to the fulfillment of investment obligations.
When announcing plans to sell the state-owned stake in Uzagroexportbank and Poytakht Bank, the State Assets Management Agency set the following criteria: at least three years of experience in the banking sector with an ROE (return on equity) index of at least 10%, proven competencies and experience in bank management, availability of authorized capital and credit rating and many other requirements.
In early January, it became known that Support Level bought Uzagroexportbank for $5 million without a tender and undertook a number of obligations. The company later changed its name to Avo.uz.
According to USREO data, this company was registered in August 2015 in Tashkent. As of October 18, 2022, the authorized capital of the company was 6 million soums, but on October 28 it grew to 56 billion soums, and then to 91.3 billion soums.
As of June 1, the authorized capital of the bank stood at 105.1 billion soums. Since the beginning of the year, assets have increased from 49 billion to 63 billion soums, and liabilities – from 2 to 3 billion soums.
The chief of Avo.uz is Iskander Usmanov, the sole founder is Olimjon Kasymovich Shadiev.
Olimjon Shadiev was deputy chairman of the supervisory board of the largest company in Uzbekistan, the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine, and then left it. He was also listed among the affiliates of the IFG Continent group of investment companies operating in the financial markets of Kazakhstan and other countries.
In the bond issue prospectus of Eurasian Bank, Olimjon Shadiev was listed as an affiliate of the bank as the head of Izarus Investment B.V. (Luxembourg). The document also indicated other members of the family of billionaire Fattokh Shadiev, including his brother Kasym Shadiev.