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Tajikistan: Counting the Cost of a Banking Meltdown

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (center) visits a branch of Agroinvestbank. In December 2016, Agroinvestbank and Tojiksodirotbank were bailed out by the Tajik government, but fears persist that they may still share the fate of Tojprombank and Fononbank that went bankrupt in recent months. (Photo: Agroinvestbank)

Before hanging himself at the beginning of August, 50-year-old Dushanbe resident Hairiddin Kodirov left a suicide note blaming the owner of Tojprombank for his misfortunes.
 
Two years ago, Kodirov, a railway worker, deposited $84,000 in the bank, raised from the sale of his late parents’ home. He was hoping to use the money to renovate a new house and to pay for the weddings of his sons.
 
And then on February 24, the National Bank withdrew Tojprombank’s operating license along with that of another distressed lender, Fononbank. Many of Tajikistan’s banks have been teetering on the edge of ruin for years – in part as the result of a reckless lending policy unjustified by a chronically weak economy.
 
In an instant, Kodirov’s money was gone. Courtesy of insurance companies, Tojprombank accountholders were given back 17,500 somoni ($2,000), but that was scant consolation for many.
 

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Tajikistan: Counting the Cost of a Banking Meltdown

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