Regional news round-up — October 27, 2008

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Central Asia Online Correspondent


TASHKENT — Central Asia bank stocks attractive: Investors find Central Asian bank stocks attractive due to their healthy growth trends. Uzbek bank assets grew 27 percent from January to September this year. The Ansher Regional Equity Fund, an asset management firm, has most of its holdings in banks across the region. “Central Asia, which has five to seven percent of the world's natural resources, is becoming increasingly economically diverse,” which makes investing there appealing, said fund manager Ravshan Yunusov. [Reuters]

DUSHANBE — ADB provides assistance for regional water cooperation: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $998,000 [USD] assistance grant to increase Central Asia regional cooperation on water issues. The Amu Darya and Sur Darya rivers supply water for most of the agriculture of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The ADP grant will help regional institutions make joint progress toward better water-way management. [ASIA-Plus]

KABUL — Mini-jirga tackles the Taliban: A “mini-jirga” will host talks to about the battle against extremism along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The 50-person jirga, supported by both Pakistani and Afghan governments, seeks to decrease insurgency in the region through potential talks with the Taliban. Leading regional figures like Owais Ghani, the Pakistani North-West Frontier Province governor, and Abdullah Abdullah, the former Afghan foreign minister, will participate. [MoD Oracle]

BISHKEK — Kyrgyz editor a finalist for international journalism award: Aida Kaymalieva, an editor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, has been selected as the only Central Asian finalist for the Developing Asia Journalism Awards. She will attend the award ceremony hosted by the Asian Development Bank Institute. Kaymalieva said she considers the award “the Pulitzer Prize of Asia.” [Institute for War and Peace Reporting]

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