Kazakhstan to consider $721 mln bailout request from RBK Bank

Kazakhstan: State Bailing Out Yet Another Ailing Bank

ASTANA, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s central bank will consider a 240 billion tenge (about $721 million) capital injection request from local lender Bank RBK and plans other moves to help it, the regulator said on Tuesday.

As part of the bailout, RBK Bank, the Central Asian nation’s ninth-biggest lender, will also transfer 600 billion tenge ($1.8 billion) in bad loans to a special purpose vehicle, central bank chairman Daniyar Akishev told reporters, without clarifying who will finance the deal.

Kazakhmys, a Kazakh copper miner, will top up the central bank capital injection with its own investment of 160 billion tenge (about $480 million) under the plan.

If approved, the RBK bailout would follow 410 billion tenge ($1.2 billion) in similar financing given last month to four other Kazakh lenders and a separate, $7.5 billion bailout of Kazkommertsbank, once the largest local bank, this year.

Kazakhstan’s oil-exporting economy, and its banking sector in particular, has been hit hard by the 2008 global crisis and the 2014 plunge in energy prices, which left many banks saddled with bad debt. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Katya Golubkova and Amrutha Gayathri)

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