Tsesnabank’s Story Progression

Despite all the efforts on the part of the Government and the National Bank of Kazakhstan, Thesnabank’s majority shareholders Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and his son and the bank’s new management, the situation with Tsesnabank is not stabilizing and the clients continue to worry.

For this reason, this financial institute continues to be the center of the press’ and market’s attention. To a large extent, what is happening now is a result of not knowing what put Kazakhstan’s second-largest private bank on the verge of bankruptcy forcing the former Head of the Presidential Administration not only to leave his post but to become the Chairman of Corporation Tsesna JSC, Tsesnabank’s parent structure, on the very day of his retirement from state service.

Consequently, we will try to work out our own version of the story based on the publicly-accessible publications by the Kazakhstan press and the internet-resources.

So, on September 17, new Chairman of Tsesnabank JSC Ulf Wokurka (the ex-Chairman of the even more distressed Kazkommertsbank that had eventually been taken over by Halyk Bank), gave an interview to Forbes.kz. Here is what he said verbatim (text in bold by kz.expert).

«Let me explain the situation as clearly as I can. As you probably know, the issue of reducing the state companies’ deposit volume in regulated banks has now been discussed for quite some time. In July-August 2018, some of the bank’s major clients from the quasi-governmental sector requested to withdraw a significant part of their deposits. To fulfil its obligations, Tsesnabank borrowed a short-term loan form the National Bank of commercial terms».

On September 13, KazMunaiGas Exploration Production JSC published an informational massage on a major transaction — providing financial aid in the amount of 680 bln tenge to its parent structure KazMunaiGas NC JSC.

Here is what the document says.

«Astana, 13 September 2018. JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production («KMG EP» or «the Company») announces that the resolution adopted by the Board of Directors on 10 September 2018 to provide financial aid to JSC «National Company «KazMunayGas» is a resolution on closing a  major transaction or a series of interrelated transactions as a result of which the Company acquires or divests (may acquire or divest) the asset, which is valued in the amount of twenty-five or more percent from the total balance value of the Company’s assets».

Then, the document specifies the terms and conditions of the transaction saying that the financial aid is provided «in the amount up to 680 000 000 000 Tenge» for the duration of «12 months». 

It looks like the concurrency of the dates when the Board of KMG Exploration Production decides to provide the 680 bln tenge financial aid to its parent company and President Nursultan Nazarbayev releases Adilbek Dzhaksybekov from his duties as the Head of the Administration due to reaching the retirement age while, on the same day, the latter is appointed the Chairman of Corporation Tsesna JSC (Tsesnabank’s majority shareholder) is not a coincidence.

We believe the first event caused the second and the second event caused the third. And, by the looks of it, KMG Exploration Production’s decision to provide the financial aid to KazMunaiGas NC JSC was the starting point of the story.

The reason for making this decision is a topic for a stand-alone article; it is obvious, however, that either the people who had lobbied it had more political weight than the former Head of the Presidential Administration or KMG’s financial situation demanded providing the emergency aid from the affiliated company and Akorda had no choice but to allow it regardless of the consequences.

If our version is correct, then the key part in Tsesnabank’s current problems was played by Chairman of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Akhmetzhan Esimov, Chairman of KazMunaiGas NC JSC Sauat Mynbayev and possibly Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva, currently a Deputy of the Senate of the Kazakhstan Parliament. (Note that, based on our latest insider information, Dariga Nazarbayeva will be among the beneficiaries of KMG NC’s privatization).

Having said that, the serious difficulties of Kazakhstan’s second-largest bank indicate yet another, more systemic problem of the nation-wide magnitude: the quasi-governmental companies whose financial deposits provide an important source for the Kazakhstan banking system are likely to continue reducing the volume of their deposits. And since, in Kazakhstan, this process is always highly-politicized, all the significant financial institutes, expect perhaps Halyk Bank, may find themselves under attack.


Photo fragment from Tehgrinews.kz


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