$1.3 billion to finance Toxic Assets Fund of Kazakhstan15 april 2014, 11:27
$1.3 billion will be allocated out of the National Oil Fund to finance the Toxic Assets Fund, the country’s Minister of Economic Affairs Yerbolat Dossayev told a briefing April 14.
The vehicle will be buying out toxic assets from the country’s banks. Regulating rules will be formulated by July 1, 2014.
The toxic assets fund under the National Bank of Kazakhstan was launched in April 2012.
Mid-February 2014 at the extended government sitting Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev commissioned banks’ heads to reduce the share of NPLs “in any possible ways” to 15% of their portfolio by 2015 and further to 10% by 2016.
As of the end of 2013, the share of NPLs throughout the country’s banking sector stood at 31.2%. According to Fitch Ratings, in February the indicator grew to 33%.
Early February Kairat Kelimbetov, the country’s Central Bank Governor, said that Kazakhstan would follow into the steps of other nations: “one of best practices to consider is that of South Korea, wherein the share of NPLs shouldn’t exceed 2%. All the NPLs in excess of 2% are bought out forcibly by special entities like stressed assets funds”.
President Nazarbayev believes it important to “take drastic measures (…) the Central Bank and the Government are to submit suggestions on purchasing toxic assets from banks. One of the criteria for banks to be eligible to obtain financial resources out of the National Oil Fund is to reduce the share of NPLs”, he said.
The National Oil Fund of Kazakhstan was created in 2000 as a stabilization fund that accumulates windfall revenues from oil sales and ensures the economy of Kazakhstan will be stable against the price swings of oil. The assets of the National Fund assets are monitored by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
According to the National Bank, the assets of the National Oil Fund reached $72.787 billion as of the end of March 2014.