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Report: Kazakh central bank head confirms bank aid option after asset review

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Report: Kazakh central bank head confirms bank aid option after asset review

The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan is considering a "revamped" aid package for the banking sector after completing an asset quality review that began this year and is set to end in December, Reuters reported, citing the central bank's Governor Yerbolat Dosayev.

Kazakh banks are still struggling to deal with nonperforming loans and most are unable to cover their provisioning needs from earnings.

Dosayev discussed the plan on the sidelines of a financial conference in Russia, echoing sentiments from an earlier report on the matter, though he did not provide details.

Dosayev said the new program would be different from the one initiated in 2017 because it would focus on the entire banking system instead of being a targeted program, the report said.

Kazakhstan has spent billions to stabilize its banking sector via bailouts for some of its largest lenders after the local property market collapsed and the country's multiple currency devaluations.

In June, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered an unsecured debt write-off for its citizens — effectively eliminating the debt of some 250,000 people who were deemed to be in a dire financial situation — and banned banks from issuing consumer loans to citizens whose income is below subsistence levels.