BTA Restructuring Amendments Are ‘Good News,’ McNamara Says

BTA Bank, the largest Kazakh lender before its default last year, made amendments to its restructuring plan that are “good news” for its creditors, according to Paul McNamara of Augustus Asset Managers.

The Almaty-based bank’s planned new tenge-denominated notes will be governed by British rather than Kazakh law, the company said yesterday in a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service. British law permits principal to be repaid in more than one installment, whereas Kazakh law stipulates a single payment, the statement said.

“Clearly it’s easier for us if it’s covered by London law,” said McNamara, who oversees $3.5 billion of emerging- market bonds for London-based Augustus. Most terms of repayment of Augustus-held bonds had been agreed, while timing of repayment hasn’t been decided, he said.

The $600 million of 7.875 percent notes due in 2010 were delisted from the Luxembourg stock Exchange on June 2 because the maturity date had passed, according to the statement from BTA and Turanalem Finance BV, its special-purpose vehicle. The yield on the bank’s defaulted 2010 dollar-denominated bonds fell 29 basis points yesterday to 17.355 percent.

BTA defaulted in April 2009, two months after being taken over by the state-owned National Wellbeing Fund Samruk-Kazyna. Creditors who hold 92 percent of BTA’s $16.7 billion of debt approved the bank’s restructuring plan in May.

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