The chairman of Kazakhstans BTA Bank expects to gain
support from creditors in a crucial vote at the end of May to
finally seal its debt restructuring.
This would be the last step in a push by the countrys
banks to move on from a deep financial crisis which has
paralysed the sector since mid-2007.
Anvar Saidenov, chairman of the management board of
BTA Bank, which was bailed out by sovereign wealth fund
Samruk-Kazyna last year, told Emerging Markets there
was no 100% guarantee of approval, but he was
confident the restructuring plan would be passed on May 28 by
the two-thirds of creditors needed, marking the last of
Kazakhstans bank restructurings.
But a full recovery of the sector will also entail a big
revamp of lenders business strategy if a second crisis is
to be avoided in the coming years, analysts and ratings
Andrey Markov, from Renaissance Capital, said banks have to
dissociate themselves from the real estate sector and move away
from a wholesale funding model to a deposit-based one. But he
added that the only sector where loans had grown in the last
year was in real estate.
There are few other sectors to lend to, as oil and gas
and metals and mining companies can fund themselves
internationally at cheap rates, he said, adding that
in several years we could be faced with the same
Standard & Poors also highlighted recently that a
new funding model was key to the recovery of Kazakhstans
banking system, which is still being plagued by non-performing
loans. Saidenov insisted the bank would implement a new
business plan that would see it make a push to gain retail
deposits and lend to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Saidenov added that BTA would focus on the domestic market
rather than on expanding in the CIS and lending to offshore
He said the bank wanted be to take part in government
programmes, adding that the state would be a main
sources of funds. Other initiatives, such as the creation
of a special account to gather payments to trade finance
creditors, which could then be used by BTA as a revolving trade
finance facility, would also allow the bank to remain engaged
with this segment of lending. The facility would amount of $700
million, Saidenov said.
He added he was realistic about international
borrowing opportunities following the restructuring, and that
this was not a priority. However, other Kazakh banks, including
Kazkommertsbank, Halyk Bank, Nurbank, and even Alliance Bank,
which completed its own restructuring last year, are already
understood to be eyeing the markets.
BTAs restructuring, begun over a year ago, will
reduce BTAs debt burden to just under $5 billion, from
$11 billion. It has already been approved by the restructuring
steering committee, which account for about 40% of the debt,
and should be easily passed, bank and institutional lenders
involved told Emerging Markets.