Nazarbayev Tells Government to Stabilize BTA, Alliance Bank

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev told government and central bank officials to steady BTA Bank and Alliance Bank, two of the defaulted lenders brought under state control in 2009.

“Together with the government, it’s necessary to stimulate and intensify the work of domestic banks,” Nazarbayev said at a meeting today in the Kazakh capital, Astana, according to a transcript of his remarks published on the president’s website. “Also the situation needs to be stabilized in the banks that underwent restructuring -- that’s BTA Bank and Alliance Bank.”

The two lenders issued new bonds and offered shares and cash to creditors in 2010 after writing off and extending payments on some of their debt. The state now holds an 81.5 percent stake in BTA and 67 percent in Alliance.

Kazakhstan’s state-owned fund Samruk-Kazyna injected 883 billion tenge ($6 billion) to raise BTA’s equity capital in 2009 and 2010, the equivalent of about 4 percent of gross domestic product. BTA, which failed to make an interest payment on its July 2018 dollar bonds in January, is seeking to restructure its debt for the second time.

BTA’s capital shortfall may reach about $6 billion by the end of 2012, according to a presentation published on its website. The bank in January predicted the gap would reach $5.1 billion by the end of the year.

Alliance Merger

Kazakhstan is discussing a possible merger of Alliance with state-controlled AO Temirbank, according to their parent, Samruk-Kazyna. Under international accounting standards, Alliance had a capital shortage of 23.5 billion tenge as of Sept. 30, compared with 105 billion tenge at the end of 2010, the Almaty-based bank said Nov. 24.

BTA and Halyk Savings Bank, the nation’s largest by assets, welcome “any steps that aim to strengthen Kazakhstan’s banking system,’ according to a joint statement issued on April 6. Halyk Chief Executive Officer Umut Shayakhmetova on April 3 called on the Central Asian nation’s government to abandon BTA’s debt restructuring and forbid the lender from attracting deposits.

Kazakhstan must find ‘‘internal resources” to bolster its banking system, Nazarbayev said today.

The meeting with the president was attended by officials including Samruk-Kazyna’s head, Umirzak Shukeyev, Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, central bank Chairman Grigori Marchenko and Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev.

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