On the Successes of Kaspi Bank

The rumors of Kaspi Bank’s bankruptcy and its Chairman’s escape with the clients’ money have forced kz.expert to take a closer look at the situation in this financial institute. Turns out, it is not as transparent as it may seem on the surface.

On November 9, 2018, in Almaty, Chairman of Kaspi Bank Mikhail Lomtadze presented the bank’s new services. Here is how it was described in the material published on Forbes.kz after the presentation (text in bold by kz.expert).

«On November 9, presenting Kaspi’s new services at Almaty’s Palace of the Republic, Mikhail Lomtadze announced that Kaspi Bank was planning to hold an IPO in 2019. The public listing is to take place at the London Stock Exchange.

-We are constantly discussing it with the colleagues, with Vyacheslav (Vyacheslav Kim, the founder and co-owner of Kaspi Bank JSC — F.), with our shareholders and partners. So many people are asking to somehow put Kazakhstan on the world’s innovations map. Every country has its champion company. The US has got Amazon, China has Alibaba, Russia has Yandex, and Kazakhstan has Kaspi.kz. We are proud to announce that, next year, Kaspi will enter the international markets. We will hold an IPO at the London Stock Exchange, said Mikhail Lomtadze».

Then, the article says.

«Kaspi is one of Kazakhstan’s biggest retail banks that occupies the second position in the Forbes-Kazakhstan 2018 rating. Kaspi Bank is the parent company of Kaspi Strakhovaniye JSC and ARK Balans LLP that deals with distressed assets. Kaspi Bank is among the three most profitable banks of Kazakhstan; for the first nine months of the current year, it had earned 75.8 bln tenge (against 37.1 bln tenge a year earlier). As of September 1, 2018, the bank’s own capital constituted 199.7 bln tenge, its assets — 1 trillion 599 bln tenge. On August 15, S& P rating agency confirmed the bank’s ratings as ‘BB-/B’ having changed the outlook from «negative» to «stable».

Our attempt to find out who, apart from Vyacheslav Kim and Mikhail Lomtadze, act as Kaspi Bank’s shareholders (co-owners) was unsuccessful. According to the data of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, 17347716 of the bank’s ordinary shares (94.23% of all the ordinary shares or 88,34% of the total number of the shares) belong to KASPI GROUP JSC.

An attempt to figure out KASPI GROUP’s shareholders (co-owners) was unsuccessful as well. The corporate site does not offer any information on the subject. The only thing that we have been able to find is the fact the KASPI GROUP has only one shareholder which follows from the name of its decision reached on May 28, 2018 on the issue of approving the consolidated and non-consolidated financial reporting for the year 2017.

Meanwhile, as the Kazakhs press has informed earlier, Kaspi Bank, apart from Vyacheslav Kim and Mikhail Lomtadze, has another shareholder, no other than the influential Kayrat Satybaldy, Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest nephew who used to serve as the Deputy Chief of the NSC and the Secretary of Party Nur Otan and now has established himself as a businessman. However, among the persons affiliated with the bank, as of the beginning of the current year, Kayrat Satybaldy’s name is not mentioned.

In the meantime, by our estimates, the likelihood of Kayrat Satybaldy’s leaving Kaspi Bank is minimal. Moreover, the bank’s latest successes on the market (especially noticeable against the problems of the Kazakh banks of the same caliber, including, for instance, Tsesnabank), let us believe that Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest nephew has strengthened his standing in it.

Forbes Kazakhstan confirms this supposition. According to the media, Kayrat Satybaldy «is one of the major shareholders of Kaspi.kz (30%) through which he owns a share of Kaspi Bank». In his turn, Vyacheslav Kim, according to the same source, «owns 41,19% of Kaspi Bank’s shares».

At the same time, Wikipedia presents a slightly different information on the bank’s shareholders. «As of December 31, 2017, Kaspi Bank’s beneficial owners are — the funds managed by Baring Vostok investment company (36.26%), Kayrat Satybaldy (28.22%), Vyacheslav Kim (20.18%), Mikhail Lomtadze (9.39%) and Goldman Sachs (3.83% /3/)».

Unfortunately, as of today, we haven’t been able to verify the information. However, we believe that the likelihood of Kayrat Satybaldy’s having already become Kaspi Bank’s majority shareholder does exist. Otherwise, how to explain the bank’s good standing against the problems of the other Kazakh banks?

Be as it may, the Kaspi Bank case confirms one simple fact yet again: being close to Nursultan Nazarbayev and having an opportunity to influence the super-presidential vertical is the key competitive advantage in Kazakhstan for both the state service and the business.


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