At least 38 businesses seized by the Kyrgyz provisional government following the collapse of former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration last April are slated to be privatized by mid-2011.
The public auctions scheduled for May and June of this year are a prime opportunity to replenish the state’s coffers, Kyrgyz officials say. But some observers contend that restoring investor confidence is a more important aspect of the process than the final sales amount.
Kyrgyzstan’s reputation as place to do business took a battering after the rash of post-Bakiyev nationalizations. Almost a year later, there remains considerable skepticism about the ability of the Kyrgyz government to oversee a transparent privatization process.
Estimates on how much money can be made by selling off assets, many of which allegedly belonged to the ex-president’s son, Maxim Bakiyev, as well as his associates, range from $80 million to $110 million. Items up for sale include plots of land in the Issyk Kul resort area, hotels, a cinema, a stake in a mobile phone company, a Bishkek Distillery, and several imported cars.
To read the full story
Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.