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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Uzbeks Proudly Launch Som

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Uzbekistan on Friday launched its second new currency since the fall of the Soviet Union, promising that this time its money would hold its value and become convertible. But initial signs pointed to a less favorable reception for the new som currency. Money changers in the bazaar traded the som at well below its official value and banks refused to sell dollars for som. "Our hearts are full of happiness and pride as the new som takes the stage," beamed a front-page article in the official Narodnoye Slovo Newspaper. "The power of money is able in a short time to revive the economy, but the weakness of a currency can lead to economic collapse," added the government's tightly controlled mouthpiece. Banknotes, adorned with azure-domed mosques from the Islamic heritage of this Central Asian state, are replacing a som coupon, now worth little more than one-fortieth of what it was worth on launch six months ago.