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Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund Board Chairwoman comments on Russia’s Sberbank President German Gref’s concerns

30 january 2013, 17:14
Ms.Elena Bakhmutova. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Ms.Elena Bakhmutova. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
German Gref. © RIA Novosti
German Gref. © RIA Novosti
Ms. Elena Bakhmutova, Vice Chairwoman of the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund Board, commented on Russia’s Sberbank President German Gref’s concerns over the Fund’s policy towards banks.

Mr. Gref earlier expressed concerns that Kazakhstan is taking steps to restrict operations of foreign banks in Kazakhstan, including those of Sberbank. Notably, he referred to suggestions to set limits on deposits of national companies [owned by Samruk Kazyna] kept with foreign banks. According to him, this measure is discriminating against foreign banks and is an obstacle to fair competition within the Single Economic Space.

As Ms. Bakhmutova explained, the Fund treats all banks equally, there are no limitations on national companies’ deposits with any banks. The only condition is that such banks should be rated at least BBB.

“Then such factors as the financial position of a particular bank, its net worth, its relation to financial or banking groups, its country of origin should be taken into consideration”, she said, adding that it is companies themselves who decide on where to keep their money.

“Such practices to limit financial risks are a common thing when it comes to big corporations”, Ms. Bakhmutov said. reported earlier, citing Ms. Elena Bakhmutova, Vice Chairwoman of Samruk Kazyna Board, that national companies owned by the Government through Samruk Kazyna are responsible for 1/3 of legal entities’ deposits with Kazakhstan-based banks, with 15% of the amount being deposited with foreign banks operating in Kazakhstan. From its November sitting on Samruk Kazyna intended to have its companies depositing their money primarily with Kazakh banks.

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