Bloomberg News

Kazakhs Plan Problem Loans Fund in January, Marchenko Says

December 06, 2011

(Updates with Marchenko’s comment in second paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Kazakhstan plans next month to start a fund made up of “problem” assets to help the country’s banks saddled with souring loans, said Grigori Marchenko, chairman of the central bank.

The share of bad credits will decrease next year as the fund transfers some of the non-performing loans off bank balance sheets and lending grows, Marchenko told reporters today in the nation’s commercial capital, Almaty. Total loans may grow between 12 percent and 15 percent next year, he said.

Loans overdue by more than 90 days at Kazakhstan’s 39 banks reached 3.17 trillion tenge ($21.5 billion), or 31.4 percent of total holdings, led by BTA Bank with 1.42 trillion tenge, central bank data show. BTA may ask the Kazakh government to back its second debt restructuring or provide additional state funds to help avert bankruptcy, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Kazakhstan initially aimed to create a fund for non- performing loans by July 1. It may sell 150 billion tenge of bonds, with the National Bank of Kazakhstan buying a third of the securities should lenders and pension funds purchase two- thirds of the debt in the first two sales, Marchenko said April 27.

--Editors: Paul Abelsky, Jeffrey Donovan

To contact the reporter on this story: Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty at ngizitdinov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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