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Kazakh regulator approves financial support for 4 local lenders

The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved the participation of four second-tier lenders in the country's support program for the banking sector, with the total value of assistance earmarked for the financial institutions amounting to 410 billion Kazakh tenge.

The four banks in question are ATFBank JSC, Eurasian Bank JSC, Tsesnabank JSC and Bank CenterCredit JSC, the regulator said Oct. 18, adding that the owners of the lenders submitted plans to increase financial stability, improve the quality of assets and reduce the level of nonperforming loans, and also promised to recapitalize their lenders. Following the approval, the regulator's stability fund will acquire subordinated bonds of the banks as part of the support program.

The support scheme was approved by the Kazakh central bank in July with a view to stabilizing the country's banks, helping them deal with nonperforming loans and increasing lending to the economy. The participation of other banks in the program will be considered by the central bank's board after the implementation of the regulator's requirements by their management and shareholders and approval of their financial models, the central bank noted.

As of Oct. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 333.84 Kazakh tenge.