Kazakh Eurasian Bank bonds on hold amid Europe woes

Kazakh Eurasian Bank bonds on hold amid Europe woes

Eurasian Bank, one of Kazakhstan's top 10 lenders, said on Wednesday it had not yet set a date for its planned Eurobond and rouble bond issues, as core Europe struggles to bail out crisis-hit peripheral Europe, Reuters reported.

Eurasian Bank had originally planned to issue Eurobonds and rouble bonds worth $200-$300 million between September and the end of this year .

But Chief Executive Michael Eggleton said he was now primarily concerned by market volatility at a time when "Europe continues to disintegrate".

"We are now seeing the Greek tragedy move to the Portugal problem, which is now affecting Italy and Spain. Investor appetite is just going to be very low," he told a news conference.

The euro zone's debt crisis has taken a dangerous turn, and analysts are concerned that existing EU financial fire-fighting tools may not be enough if Italy, the currency bloc's No.3 economy, catches the contagion singeing peripheral Europe.

"Until we see the market clean up, we do not need to raise any money at the market," Eggleton said. "So I don't know the exact timing, given what we've seen in the world."

He said however that the work on the bond issues was still going on. "We've actually hired managing banks on the rouble issue and we are in the process of sending 'a request for proposals' from our bank on the Eurobond."

Eggleton said the bank saw its profit and assets rise in 2011. "We certainly like to see something between 4 and 5 billion tenge ($27.4 million to $34.2 million) in profit for the year," he said.

Eurasian Bank made a net profit of 771.4 million tenge in 2010 after a net loss of 12.97 billion in 2009.

Eggleton said the bank planned to boost its assets to between 370 billion and 380 billion tenge by the end of the year versus 335.6 billion tenge at the end of 2010.

Eggleton expects that 70-75 percent of the bank's assets will be in credits. Eurasian Bank's credit portfolio rose to 212.7 billion tenge at the end of 2010.

Eurasian Bank's main shareholders are billionaire entrepreneurs Alexander Mashkevich, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov, the founders of Kazakh mining giant ENRC.

($1 = 146.13 tenge)

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