Kazakh bank BTA to sell Sekerbank stake to wealth fund

Jan 12. Reuters. ALMATY

By Robin Paxton

Kazakh bank BTA to sell Sekerbank stake to wealth fundKazakh bank BTA is poised to sell its 34 percent stake in Turkey’s Sekerbank to its main shareholder, sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, as it attempts to persuade angry creditors to accept a second debt restructuring.

BTA, Kazakhstan’s third-largest bank by assets, expects a deal to sell its Sekerbank stake for $166 million to be completed ‘very soon’, the bank said in a presentation to GDR holders dated Jan. 11 and published on its website on Thursday.

It said the transaction price had been confirmed by a ‘fairness opinion’ given by an unidentified third party.

‘The transaction foresees that BTA keeps the upside potential in case of the future sale of Sekerbank shares (by Samruk-Kazyna),’ the bank said in the presentation, without giving further details.

BTA has enraged many of its creditors by announcing plans for a second debt restructuring and entering technical default after missing a $160 million coupon payment due on Jan. 3. The bank is meeting with investors in London this week.

Chairman Anvar Saidenov told Reuters on Wednesday that BTA, facing a $5 billion capital shortfall by the end of this year, could not survive without a second round of debt restructuring.

An initial deal with creditors struck in 2010 cut the bank’s debt by two-thirds to $4.2 billion.

A group of creditors expressed their disappointment after Wednesday’s meeting and insisted BTA, owned 81.5-percent by Samruk-Kazyna since the 2010 restructuring, had enough liquidity to make the coupon payment.

BTA said in the presentation that it had identified non-core assets, including insurance company London Almaty and pension fund Ular Umit.

‘Disposal processes have partially been initiated but market conditions have been sub-optimal to proceed with positive outcomes,’ it said. ‘Asset disposals are on the agenda and shall be realised above book value so as to maximise capital impacts.’