Kazakh Businessman Rakishev Acquires Control of Biggest Bank

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The son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s defense minister is accumulating a controlling interest in Kazkommertsbank, the nation’s biggest lender.

Kenges Rakishev, 36, reached a preliminary agreement to acquire the parent company of Alnair Capital Holding, which has a 28.08 percent stake in Kazkommertsbank, boosting the holding he controls to 56.75 percent, according to an e-mailed statement on Friday from the lender. The deal will be concluded once it has antimonopoly clearance and after Kazkommertsbank reports earnings through June 30, according to the statement. Rakishev isn’t required to make a buyout offer for the remaining shares, the lender said.

Rakishev has built up his interest in Kazkommertsbank after gaining a foothold through the lender’s merger with twice-defaulted BTA Bank, where he was a shareholder. Rakishev bought BTA stock as Kazakhstan sold off stakes in banks it bailed out after they were pummeled amid the global credit crunch.

“We view the consolidation of the controlling stake by Mr. Rakishev as a vote of confidence in the bank’s growth potential,” Kazkommertsbank Chief Executive Officer Magzhan Auezov said in the statement.

Kazkommertsbank was created in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and central Asia’s biggest oil exporter became independent. The bank said in July it will seek more money from Kazakhstan’s pension and problem-loan funds to fuel lending growth while shifting bad assets to BTA. It has opened credit lines totaling $9 billion to BTA as it turns the unit into a center dealing with bad loans.

Stake Boost

Rakishev took his holding in Kazkommertsbank to 28.67 percent after buying 2.82 percent from its founder Nurzhan Subkhanberdin, according to regulatory filings on Aug. 5. Subkhanberdin owned 26.28 percent after the sale.

Rakishev “works well with the management team,” Subkhanberdin said in the statement. “His focus and support for the delivery of management’s strategy will enhance the bank’s performance.”

Under the planned deal, Rakishev would become the general partner of the Alnair private equity group, acquiring control over voting and other rights of its shareholding in Kazkommertsbank, the lender said.

Alnair Capital Holding is controlled by TOO Alnair Capital, whose owner, according to the bank’s financial report for 2012, was businesswoman Aigul Nuriyeva.

After being asked by telecommunications company Tele2 AB to comment on allegations that she has ties to Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Nuriyeva signed a written statement confirming she is the beneficial owner of AsiaNet, which has a stake in Tele2’s Kazakh unit. Nuriyeva also stated that she doesn’t act “on behalf of any high level politicians,” Tele2 said in a report published in December last year on its website.

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