Kazakhstan Wealth Fund Sued in U.S. by BTA Bank Investors

Investors in BTA Bank (BTAS), Kazakhstan’s third-largest bank by assets, accused its controlling shareholder, the Central Asian nation’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, of defrauding them.

The investors claim in a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court that BTA Bank, which isn’t named as a defendant, defrauded them by inducing them to buy debt securities as part of a 2010 restructuring. The bank did so, the investors claim, by promising that virtually no dividends or distributions would be paid to X1Q6MH7D9182, which is a defendant.

“S-K Fund and BTA had devised a scheme to circumvent the express restrictions on dividends,” according to the complaint. “The scheme was implemented by BTA Bank, paying S-K Funds interest on its deposits at an exorbitant above-market rate of approximately 10 percent.”

The sovereign wealth fund is owned entirely by the Republic of Kazakhstan, according to the complaint. The bank isn’t named as a defendant because it’s now undergoing a second restructuring in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Plaintiffs including Atlantica Holdings Inc., Baltica Investment Holding Inc., Allan Kiblisky and Jacques Gliksberg say they purchased tens of millions of dollars of subordinated debt securities issued by BTA Bank.

Separately, Almaty-based BTA Bank said today it won the support of a majority of creditors for its $11 billion restructuring, cutting its debt by about 70 percent.

A fund spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment after business hours in Kazakhstan.

The case is Atlantica Holdings v. Samruk-Kazyna, 12- cv-08852, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

To contact the reporter on this story: David Glovin in New York at dglovin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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