Kazakh govt, banks agree $3.47 billion bailout package

The government of Kazakhstan and the nation's four largest banks have agreed terms for at least $3.47 billion in capital injections to counter the impact of the global credit crisis, the state-owned SamrukKazyna fund said on Tuesday.

Analysts say the banks need to boost reserves against loan losses and face about $12 billion of foreign debt repayments next year amid tight refinancing conditions, reported Reuters.

"The price of shares will be defined as their market value as of October 24 on the London Stock Exchange for Kazkommertsbank, Alliance and Halyk and on the Kazakh Stock Exchange for BTA," SamrukKazyna Chief Executive Kairat Kelimbetov told reporters.

He did not say whether that meant opening, closing or average price.

Global depository receipts (GDRs) of Kazkommertsbank, according to Reuters data, opened at $3.35 on October 24 and closed at $2.9. They traded at around $8 on Monday.

"October 24 was a day when no insider information had been leaked yet, no offers had been made to anyone," Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev told reporters.

SamrukKazyna, which acts on government's behalf in the scheme, will also invest in banks' preferred stock and extend subordinated loans to them.

Kelimbetov said BTA BTAS.KZ would receive at least $2.3 billion, Kazkommerts (KKGByq.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) KKGB.KZ $300 million, Halyk (HSBKq.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) HSBK.KZ $500 million and Alliance (ALLBq.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) ASBN.KZ $370 million.

All the banks had earlier announced the same figures except for Alliance, which had said it would get $500 million.

"Global depository receipt holders will have the right to convert newly issued common stock (into GDRs)," Kelimbetov said.

He said banks' majority shareholders would not buy new shares, allowing SamrukKazyna to step in. SamrukKazyna, in turn, will give them right of first refusal when it decides to sell the stakes.

Zhamishev said the banking regulator had also talked to Italy's Unicredit (CRDI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the majority shareholder in No.5 bank, ATF ATFB.KZ. It also spoke to South Korea's Kookmin (105560.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the key shareholder in No.6 bank CenterCredit CCBN.KZ.

The government has earlier said it could offer these banks capital injections as well.

"They (Unicredit and Kookmin) plan to boost those banks' capital themselves," Zhamishev said.

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