Tuesday, May 22, 2012 -
Kazakhstan’s biggest lender Halyk Bank on Tuesday said it will repurchase all the preferred shares it sold to the government during the 2009 global financial crisis.
The financial institution said in a statement on its website halykbank.kz it intends to buy back the shares during June and July 2012.
Kazakh sovereign welfare fund Samruk-Kazyna bought 50.3 percent of the bank’s preferred shares in April 2009 for $223 million.
Halyk Bank’s deputy chief executive also outlined the plan to investors a day earlier.
"Our plan is by end of the second quarter to be able to exercise the [buyback] option either in full or at least for the largest part of it. If anything remains, we'll exercise it in the beginning of the third quarter," the Reuters news agency reported deputy chief executive Dauren Karabayev as saying.
On Monday, Halyk reported strong year-on-year results for the first quarter of 2012.
The lender said net profit jumped 58 percent to $114 million in the three-month period. At the same time, it reduced bad debt charges by more than one-third.
Kazakhstan’s banking sector is still trying to find its feet after receiving a severe battering from the economic downturn. The lenders are struggling under toxic loans extended to real estate markets that went south during the crisis and on overreliance on external funding.
Halyk said the volume of non-performing loans compared with gross loans increased slightly from the close of last year to March 31 2011.