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Astana Finance to Delay Restructuring in Bid for Tax Exemption

AO Astana Finance, the Kazakh financial company that defaulted in 2009, said it plans to delay completion of its debt restructuring for a second time as it struggles to win an exemption on corporate income tax.

“We plan to extend a restructuring regime” as the company makes a case to the government for amending Kazakh law and freeing it from a tax payout of as much as $400 million on expected profit from writedowns and the debt overhaul, Daniyar Nurskenov, a managing director at the Astana-based company, said by phone today.

It’s a “big sum” that may scuttle the restructuring if Astana Finance is forced to make the payment, he said. The company defaulted after it stopped servicing its international debt in May 2009 as the central Asian nation slipped into its first recession in a decade.

The company, whose creditors backed a plan to restructure $1.9 billion of debt in June, planned to complete the restructuring last year before delaying it until the end of March, according to Nurskenov. Astana Finance creditors holding 79.6 percent of the company’s debt approved the plan in Almaty on June 29, 2012. The government owns 25.5 percent of the company, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange data show.

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