Kazakh President Orders Sale of BTA, Alliance, Temirbank Stakes

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered the sale of state stakes in BTA Bank, Alliance Bank and Temirbank in 2013.

Kazakh banks have taken “a range of measures to cut foreign debt and this process must be continued,” Nazarbayev said, according to a statement on his website today. No details were provided on the sales or how to cut the debt.

Nazarbayev met today in the capital, Astana, with Presidential Chief of Staff Karim Massimov, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna Chief Executive Officer Umirzak Shukeyev and Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov.

Kazakhstan’s government has used Samruk-Kazyna to prop up banks rocked by a credit squeeze in 2009 using money out of $10 billion tapped from the National Oil Fund. State-run BTA Bank, Alliance Bank and Temirbank restructured about $20 billion in debt after defaulting that year. BTA restructured its debt in December for the second time since 2010.

Samruk-Kazyna has been considering a merger of Temirbank and Alliance Bank.