Samruk-Kazyna may purchase Halyk Bank Pension Fund through selling its stake in BTA Bank
27 march 2013, 15:30
Halyk Bank. Yaroslav Radlovsky ©
Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund has suggested that Halyk Bank consider purchasing BTA Bank, KazTag Agency reports, citing Ms. Umyt Shayakhmetova, Halyk Bank’s Chairwoman of the Board as saying March 27.
“This morning the Bank received a letter from the Sovereign Wealth Fund asking to start talks (…) to consider purchasing BTA Bank”, Ms. Shayakhmetova said.
Earlier the country’s Vice PM Kairat Kelimbetov announced in an interview that as part of the government’s plan to launch a single pension fund there is an option of exchanging Halyk Bank Pension Fund’s shares for BTA Bank’s shares [owned by Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund].
Thus, the Government has been planning to facilitate the launch of the single pension fund and simultaneously to exit BTA Bank through shifting the stake to private players such as Halyk Bank.
March 13 the Government allowed Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund to purchase stakes in Halyk Bank Pension Fund, Grantum Pension Fund and Ular Unit Pension Fund from their respective parent banks, including in exchange for shares [owned by Samruk-Kazyna] in KazKommertsbank and BTA Bank.
BTA was taken over by Samruk-Kazyna in February 2009 against the backdrop of the global credit crunch. Kazakhstan has sued BTA’s former management for reportedly siphoning off billions of dollars from the bank in a case that is being contested in London’s High Court.
BTA Bank completed its first restructuring of debt in 2010. As a result the debt was lowered from $16.65 billion to $4.2 billion. The second debt restructuring took place in December 2012, which involved the restructure of $11.1 billion in financial claims. As part of the deal, $1.21 billion of debt has been converted into common stock and $9.04 billion of debt has been exchanged for $1.62 million in cash and $750 million of new bonds. Samruk-Kazyna supported the restructuring by converting deposits into equity, increasing its shareholding in the bank from 81.3% to 97.3%.
Tengrinews.kz reported earlier that Samruk – Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund Head Umirzak Shukeev had announced February 7 2013 that it is feasible for the Fund to exit BTA, Alliance and Temir banks [that were bailed out following the spill of the global financial crisis] as early as in 2013.
February 4 Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev commissioned the Fund to exit the earlier bailed-out banks within a year’s time.
Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan is ranked 2nd in terms of its assets.