How Nigmatulin Outplayed Everyone

The court of the first instance has denied the National Bank of Kazakhstan the satisfaction to collect 24.9 bln tenge from Dinmukhamet Idrisov, a businessman whose name is on the Forbes Kazakhstan list and who acted as the guarantor of the Qazaq Banki loan. The insiders suspect that Speaker of the Mazhilis (Lower House of the Parliament) Nurlan Nigmatulin has had a hand it the matter.

In January 2019, a number of the Kazakh media-resources reprinted the information on the fact that the Medeusk District Court of Almaty, in its decision of December 25, 2018, denied the National Bank the satisfaction to collect 24.9 bln tenge from businessman Dinmukhamet Idrisov.

Here is the gist of the matter.

On May 31, 2017, the National Bank of Kazakhstan granted Qazaq Banki a special purpose loan with the maximum limit of 85 bln tenge to be provided by tranches with 10% interest for the period until June 15, 2017.

On June 13, 2017, Qazaq Banki paid a part of the loan in the amount of 60 bln tenge and the interest in the amount of 216.6 mln tenge. The remaining unpaid part of 25 bln tegne had not been returned even though the due date was extended several times up to August 15, 2018.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan had filed a claim against Dinmukhamet Idrisov since it was he who acted as the guarantor according to the loan agreement. The claim stipulates that, as of the moment its filing, Qazaq Banki owed 27.5 bln tenge – the sum containing the main loan in the amount of 24.99 bln tenge, the interest in the amount of 295 mln tenge and the penalties in the amount of 1.77 bln tenge.

Dinmukhamet Idrisov did not agree with the demands of the National Bank and filed a counter-claim requesting rendering the guarantee commitment invalid due to the fact that the provided loan was supposed to be secured by the highly liquid and risk-free assets as well as the other low-risk assets which the guarantee commitment was not.

The judge had reached a conclusion that Dinmukhamet Idrisov’s guarantee commitment was indeed invalid. Here is the judge’s reasoning (citing from Informburo.kz).

“The claimant’s representatives explained that it was Idrisov’s financial standing and his social status that served as the reason of accepting him as the guarantor. At the same time, this circumstance does not give the claimant the right to violate the law. The National Bank had accepted Idrisov’s guarantee commitment wrongfully since a special purpose loan is provided exclusively upon the security of highly liquid, risk-free assets and other low-risk assets which Idrisov’s guarantee commitment is not”, explained the judge.

The judge believes that the claimant was not only aware of Qazaq Banki’s unstable situation but, as the financial regulator, directly participated in its financial recovery, therefore, it could not and should not have accepted Dinmukhamet Idrisov’s guarantee commitment in order to avoid the adverse consequences”.

We believe the judge’s decision, once again, confirms the fact that, in Kazakhstan, “the one in the right is the one who has more rights”.  Surely, the National Bank, being one of the key state agencies in the country and supervised directly by Nursultan Nazarbayev, has lost the case not so much because Dinmukhamet Idrisov is on the unofficial Forbes.kz list of the richest people in the country as thanks to his association with Mazhilis Speaker Nurlan Nigmatullin.

We will leave the analyzing and criticizing of the judge’s decision to legal professionals. However, in our opinion, the regulator’s claim seems justified and is weakened only by the fact that, instead of bankrupting Qazaq Banki immediately and identity-blind, the National Bank had given it a chance for a rescue. And now, it must pay for it.

According to Head of the National Bank’s department for protecting the rights of the consumers of financial services Alexander Terentyev, the agency is not going to appeal the judge’s decision. However, we have no doubt that the final verdict on the matter will be reached in Akorda.

It will happen in the exact same fashion as with the no-less scandalous case of confiscating not only the regional offices of the unregistered Alga party from its former leader Vladimir Kozlov but also the flat in Almaty where his family lived. According to the Kazakh law, the sole residence cannot be confiscated but Akorda had decided otherwise and the judicial system went along with this decision all the way up to the Supreme Court.


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