Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank Said to Consider Balapanov as New CEO

BTA Bank (BTAS), the Kazakh lender that’s seeking to restructure its debts for a second time in as many years, may name former Kazkommertsbank Managing Director Yerik Balapanov as its new chief executive officer, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Balapanov, 43, who resigned from Kazkommertsbank, Kazakhstan’s largest lender by assets, on Feb. 24, has already begun work at BTA, the two people said, declining to be identified because the appointment must be approved by the bank’s board of directors.

Balapanov’s secretary at BTA said he wasn’t available for comment when contacted by Bloomberg News. A secretary for Askhat Beisenbayev, BTA’s acting CEO, referred questions to the bank’s press service, which declined to comment immediately when contacted outside of normal business hours. The National Wellbeing Fund Samruk-Kazyna, which holds an 81.5 percent stake in BTA, didn’t respond to e-mailed questions sent after business hours.

BTA is negotiating its second debt restructuring since 2010 after failing to make an interest payment on its July 2018 dollar bonds in January. Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk- Kazyna took over BTA in February 2009, two months before default by the nation’s largest bank at the time. BTA accounted for 12 percent of Kazakh banking assets with 1.56 trillion tenge ($10.6 billion) on Feb. 1, compared with a 24 percent share in January 2009, according to the central bank’s financial oversight committee website.

When he “voluntarily resigned” from Kazkommertsbank last month, Balapanov also ceased to serve as board chairman of four of its subsidiaries, including the Grantum pension fund, according to Kazkommertsbank.

Before he became Kazkommertsbank’s managing director in 2003, Balapanov worked at the Development Bank of Kazakhstan, according to his biography on the Grantum website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty at ngizitdinov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net BRKZ KZ <Equity> BTAS KZ <Equity> SKKZ KZ <Equity> Z KZ <Equity>

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