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Kazakh Wealth Fund Orders BTA, Oil Company to Divest Assets

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Kazakhstan’s sovereign-wealth fund ordered BTA Bank, which is seeking a second debt restructuring in as many years, to sell construction assets as part of an initiative to make state-controlled companies more efficient.

The state-owned oil and gas producer, KazMunaiGaz National Corp., and railway monopoly Kazakhstan Temir Zholy will also divest investments that fall outside the scope of the companies’ primary activities, Umirzak Shukeyev, head of the Samruk-Kazyna fund, told reporters today in the capital, Astana.

BTA, KazMunaiGaz and KTZ “used to invest in non-core assets, which now are pulling them down,” Shukeyev said, without giving details of sales prices or their timing. “That’s why we’ll get rid of them, but not simultaneously.”

The press services of KMG and KTZ didn’t respond immediately to phone and e-mailed requests for comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

BTA Bank is seeking to sell its London-Almaty insurance company and its Ular Umit pension fund, Chairman Anvar Saidenov said Jan. 17, adding that the lender has found a potential buyer for the insurance business.

To contact the reporter on this story: Svetlana Antoncheva in Astana, Kazakhstan at santoncheva1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net

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