Since the start of the month, Agroinvestbank, Tajikistan’s largest lender, began telling its clients that as of May 4 they will only be able to withdraw 500 somoni ($58) daily on their cards. Since February, the bank had been allowing account-holders to withdraw double that amount.
Things have not quite yet got as bad as they were in 2016, when Agroinvestbank stopped paying out money altogether for around half a year. Many state employees were had salaries paid directly to them, but anybody with money piled up in the bank had no way to access it.
But then on December 21, parliament approved a government decree to issue bonds worth around half a billion dollars with which to recapitalize four distressed banks, namely Agroinvestbank, Tojiksodirotbank, Fononank and Tojprombank. The bonds were converted into liquid cash by the National Bank, making the entire affair look like a major exercise in money printing.
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