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Marcus Ashworth

Would You Like to Invest in Uzbekistan?

Uzbekistan and the like could mull their first-ever bond sales, but there's a transparency mountain to climb.
Photographer: Jose Fuste Raga

Former Soviet Republics are becoming a regular feature on the emerging market sovereign debt scene. Belarus, Azerbaijan and Ukraine came with repeat deals this summer. Even mountainous Tajikistan, the region's poorest country, managed an inaugural bond last month. So it makes sense for sovereigns that have never issued to think about it.

Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan have made little, if any, mark on debt markets. The timing is certainly favorable as diversifying investors show themselves open to frontier market risk. Entry into the main emerging-market benchmarks makes new issues compelling for index-driven funds.