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Sales of Government’s stakes in bailed out banks is not a solution to toxic assets: Fitch Ratings

14 may 2013, 17:10
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Sales of the Government’s stakes in earlier bailed out banks will not solve the problems related to the banking system’s toxic assets, KazTag reports, citing Charles Seville, Fitch Ratings’ Economist and sovereign analyst covering Russia and other CIS countries as saying at the 7th annual conference on Kazakhstan.

“I saw the Fund for [tackling] Toxic Assets created [under the National Bank] … There were a number of amendments into the tax legislation … We regards these steps as intermediary steps. Much has to be done to fully solve the problem of toxic assets that the country’s banks are facing.

According to Mr. Seville, the real growth of lending in Kazakhstan “only stands at 5%, which is lower than in Russia, Mexico, Turkey and Azerbaijan (…) Even in Kazakhstan itself the growth of lending was much more robust before the global financial crisis”.

KazTag also reported that according to Fitch Ratings, GDP growth in Kazakhstan is expected at 6% in 2014, with the 2013 figure standing at 5%.

Samruk – Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund Head Umirzak Shukeev 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 banks within a year’s time.

Toxic assets fund under the National Bank of Kazakhstan was launched in April 2012. Earlier National Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko announced that “should the toxic assets fund be successful, second tier banks will get rid of toxic assets worth $2 billion”.

NPLs with maturities over 90 days comprise around 30 percent of the total loan portfolio of Kazakh banks and stand at 3.5 trillion tenge ($23 billion), Reuters reported late April 2013, citing the local financial market regulator.

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