China Buys Kazakhstan Lender as Xi Pushes Trade ‘Belt and Road’

Kazakhstan: State Bailing Out Yet Another Ailing Bank

China Citic Bank Corp. and another Chinese state-owned company agreed to buy a controlling stake in Kazakhstan’s Altyn Bank as President Xi Jinping ramps up an overseas trade-and-infrastructure push called “One Belt, One Road.”

Citic Bank and the investment arm of state-run China Tobacco Co. will buy a 60 percent stake in Altyn Bank, pending regulatory approvals, the Chinese lender said in an exchange filing Wednesday. The transaction is due to be completed by year end, vendor Halyk Bank said in a separate statement, adding that it will retain 40 percent. No deal value was disclosed.

The transaction comes as Xi visits Kazakhstan for a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a political, economic and military organisation founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. China’s “Belt and Road” initiative is aimed at expanding infrastructure and trade links between Asia and Europe while at the same time exporting China’s excess industrial capacity and deepening diplomatic ties.

China’s investment in Kazakhstan exceeds $42.8 billion and loans to the nation amount to over $50 billion, Xi wrote in an article prior to his visit.

Beijing-based Citic Bank has operations in Hong Kong, London, and Sydney. Shares of Citic Bank rose 0.2 percent in Hong Kong trading as of 9:58 a.m, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index was little changed.

With assistance by Jun Luo,

Source: Bloomberg

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