The magazine said Pakhta Bank is continuing its long-term strategy of providing accessible banking services to the core industry of the Uzbek economy, namely the agricultural sector. In 2006, the bank finalised its programme to extend its network of mini-banks to all regions of Uzbekistan to provide access to most farmers and entities involved in the agricultural business. By the end of 2006, the number of mini-banks had reached 692. They provide tailored services to client, from classic banking to advanced structured products.
Pakhta invested heavily in IT in the installation of wireless network technology for mini-banks located in areas with undeveloped telecoms infrastructures. It also established a main back-up settlements centre for payments processing in the form of an extended cluster system on the base of UNIX-servers HP RX6600 and EVA5000 disk system. This innovation increased the reliability of performing transactions and data transfers, The Banker said.
"There are many factors that contributed to our success last year," says Aburakhmat Boymuratov, chairman of the board. "I would emphasise three major achievements. First, and the most important, is our commitment to a long-term strategy of extending our franchise in the regions of the country."During 2006, we continued building our network and added 250 mini-banks, which we plan to transform into fully functioning branches. Second, we increased our capital. Shareholders approved an issue of additional shares to increase the capital base by 67%. Last, we became the first bank in the history of Uzbek banking to receive a full rating from Fitch Ratings. Such achievements open many opportunities and challenges in the local market as well as in the international arena," adds Boymuratov.