Kazakh lender Astana Finance signs debt deal

Nov 16. Reuters. ALMATY

* Signs term sheet with foreign creditors
* Sought a $650 mln debt cut
* Has yet to reach a deal on domestic debt

Kazakh lender Astana Finance signs debt dealKazakh lender Astana Finance, the third of the country’s lenders to default on its debts, said on Monday it had signed an agreement with foreign creditors laying out the terms of its debt restructuring.

The agreement signed on Nov. 12 needs to be followed by a similar deal with domestic creditors, said Astana Finance, which has sought to slash $650 million off its $1.7 billion debt.

The company, which operates like a bank but with some restrictions, said last month it planned to issue new Eurobonds and shares in exchange for existing debt.

Foreign creditors would own a majority stake in Astana Finance after the restructuring, it has said.

In May, Astana Finance followed its larger domestic peers BTA and Alliance by defaulting on its debts.