Will They Not Give State Money to Nurbank?

At the November 22 press-conference in Almaty, Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Daniyar Akishev said that Nurbank has applied for the participation in the banking sector financial stability improvement program. The bank, however, will most likely not receive the money.

 Here is a quote from the country’s chief banker:

“This application will be reviewed by the NBK board of directors. We estimate not only the state of the financial institute but also a possibility whether the capital may be increased by the efforts of its own shareholders. If the shareholders have enough of their own resources, there is no reason to participate in the program. We must review all the questions and the nuances of this financial institute including the standing of its shareholders”.

In our opinion, Mr. Akishev’s slip of the tongue in speaking about the sufficiency of the shareholders’ own funds for increasing the bank’s capital and the absence of a reason for the NBK to participate in the process is not an accident. It looks like the regulator has no intention to support Nurbank. Probably due to the fact that tycoon Rashid Sarsenov who controls 84.45% of the bank’s ordinary voting shares through JP FINANCE GROUP is the majority shareholder of the latter.

It is obvious that Rashid Sarsenov who was, in the past, closely associated with now deceased Rakhat Aliyev, Nazarbayev’s eldest son-in-law, through the common enterprise after the collapse of which he managed to survive only by giving (selling) a significant portion of his assets to the other members of the Nazarbayev family possesses not only the fortune but also the political possibilities to lobby his interests in Akorda. In this case, however, another key factor plays the crucial role in the future refusal of the NBK to help Nurbank – the absence of the financial possibilities.

First, they had planned to spend on the financial stability improvement program 2.9 trillion tenge of which 1.4 trillion were taken from the National Fund and set aside by the President for the support of Kazkommertsbank.

Currently, the total sum spent on the program amounts to 3.054 trillion tenge of which 2.93 trillion have already been used. This includes the 2.4 trillion transferred to BTA Bank that had used this money to pay off Kazkommertsbank loan after which the latter was sold to Halyk Bank for only 2 tenge. Tsesnabank has received 100 billion tenge, Bank CenterCredit – 60 billion tenge, Eurasian Bank – 150 billion tenge, ATFBank – 100 billion tenge.

RBK Bank was the last one allowed to use the food tray. This was, most likely, an emergency. This financial institute has already received 120 billion tenge from the NBK and, by January 19, 2018, it is expecting to receive 124 billion tenge.

Since Nursultan Nazarbayev has demanded to cut the spending of the National Fund resources and the possibilities of the state budget are extremely limited given the current conditions, the NBK simply has no means to increase the financing of the financial stability improvement program. Therefore, to get the support, Sarsenov will have to reach the leader of the nation himself and convince him that he has the right to receive the state money.

In our opinion, despite his excellent lobbying skills, Sarsenov is unlikely to complete this task successfully. First, he has enough enemies in Akorda and, second, it will be awkward for the President to violate his own directive, especially after its public announcement.


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