Halyk Bank In Talks With Kazkommertsbank Over Possible Deal

Betted On Kazakhstan’s Largest – And Cheapest – Bank

ALMATY, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Halyk Bank , Kazakhstan’s second biggest bank by assets, is in “preliminary talks” with bigger rival Kazkommertsbank, and its majority shareholder, about a potential transaction, the two banks said on Friday.

The banks gave no further details of the potential deal. Sources close to the talks told Reuters in November that the two groups were discussing a merger.

One of the sources also said at the time that the deal could involve the write-down of bad assets belonging to Kazkommertsbank, with help from the state.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s daughter Dinara together with her husband Timur Kulibayev have a controlling stake in Halyk, which has assets of around $14.0 billion.

Kazkommertsbank, with assets of $15.7 billion, is controlled by local businessman Kenges Rakishev, a son-in-law of Nazarbayev’s long-time confidant, Deputy Prime Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Maria Kiselyova and Jane Merriman)