BTA Agrees to Postpone $175 Million Trade-Finance Loan Payment

BTA Bank, the Kazakh lender that’s seeking to restructure its debt for a second time in as many years, said it agreed with creditors to postpone a payment on a trade-financing loan by three months.

BTA is delaying the third $175 million installment until June 30 from March 31, the Almaty-based lender said in a written reply to e-mailed questions. The revolving loan was part of a 2010 restructuring agreement reached with creditors after the Kazakh lender defaulted on $12 billion of debt.

The first $175 million installment was paid on March 31, 2011, and the next one for the same amount was made on Sept. 30, 2011, according to the terms of the Revolving Committed Trade Finance Facility Agreement, the bank has said. The final tranche of $173.2 million is due Sept. 30, 2012.

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 11 percent of Kazakh banking assets with 1.48 trillion tenge ($10 billion) as of March 1, down from a 24 percent share in January 2009, according to the central bank’s financial oversight committee website.

The bank failed to make an interest payment on its July 2018 dollar bonds in January. BTA is seeking to reach a deal with creditors on its second debt restructuring since 2010 by September, according to a presentation published March 22 on the its website.

The liabilities of the lender exceeded assets by 385.2 billion tenge as of March 1, compared with a gap of 300 billion tenge a month earlier, the regulator said. The capital deficit widened after provisions were increased against bad loans and debtors’ liabilities to comply with international accounting standards and securities owned by the bank were sold, BTA said in a written reply to questions.

The capital shortfall may reach about $6 billion by the end of 2012, BTA said in the presentation. BTA in January predicted the gap would reach $5.1 billion by the end of the year.

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