Tag Archives: banking

Tokayev talks up Kaspi.kz

JUNE 14 2021 (The Bulletin) — Highlighting the importance of London-listed Kaspi.kz as a champion of Kazakh business in the West, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that it was a role model for the future of the country’s fintech sector.. Kaspi’s banking app has been a success in pulling in millions of users in Kazakhstan. On the London Stock Exchange its share price has doubled since it listed in October.

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— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Fitch gives Kazakhstan’s Jusan Bank a rating

JUNE 9 2021 (The Bulletin) — Fitch, the ratings agency, gave Kazakhstan’s First Heartland Jusan Bank an investment grade rating of B1 only a couple of weeks after Bloomberg reported that it had used government grants to pay dividends to shareholders. The bank is closely linked to former Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Jusan Bank has denied any wrongdoing and said that the Fitch rating is a reflection of its strong liquidity.

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— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

ADB to lend $20m to Uzbekistan’s Hamkorbank

JUNE 4 2021 (The Bulletin) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a deal with Uzbekistan’s Hamkorbank to lend it $20m to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses. Christine Engstrom, the ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division Director, said that small businesses employ 74% of Uzbekistan’s workforce but were struggling to access capital because of the pandemic, especially those in outlying areas.

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— This story was published in issue 487 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 9 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Halyk Bank’s net profit rises

MARCH 12 (The Bulletin) — Net profit at Kazakhstan’s Halyk bank rose by 5.4% in 2020 to 352.7b tenge ($842m) because of higher income from insurance premiums and earnings on derivatives and securities. Halyk Bank is the largest bank in Kazakhstan and is majority-owned by Dinara Nazarbayeva, the daughter of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev and her husband, Timur Kulibayev. The bank’s performance is considered an important indicator of the state of the Kazakh economy.

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— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Georgian government support for banks can no longer be relied upon -Fitch

MARCH 11 (The Bulletin) — In a report on government support for banks in Emerging Markets, Fitch the ratings agency said that Georgia could “no longer be relied upon” to prop up its banks because of legislation that it introduced in Jan. 2021. Georgia introduced bail-in legislation that forces creditors and bondholders of banks to accept more risk.

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— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Coronavirus hits Georgian banks

TBILISI/JAN. 21 2021 (The Bulletin) — Profit at Georgia’s 15 commercial banks fell by nearly 90% last year, the Central Bank said, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its economy.

It said that it expected profits at the banks to be 100m lari ($30.3m) in 2020 compared to 950m lari in 2019.

Medical experts praised Georgia for its initial hard and fast response to the coronavirus, although economists also said that this had a tough impact on its economy. 

And the assessment of banks’ profit drop was given only a couple of days before Fitch, the ratings agency, downgraded the so-called support ratings of TBC Bank, Bank of Georgia and Liberty Bank to 5 from 4 because their liabilities are now larger than the Central Bank’s reserves. 

The support rating is a measure of the ability of the Central Bank to prop up commercial banks, if needed.

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— This story was first published in issue 469 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Azerbaijan commissions new Central Bank HQ

JAN. 15 2021 (The Bulletin) — In a show of confidence in its Central Bank which was derided by ordinary Azerbaijanis six years ago for allowing the manat to devalue twice in 12 months, Azerbaijan’s government commissioned the construction of a new $265m and 37-storey headquarters for it. Building work, by Turkish construction company Tekfen, is expected to take three years.

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— This story was first published in issue 469 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Bank opens ATM in Nagorno-Karabakh

DEC. 27 2020 (The Bulletin) — In a move heavily infused with symbolism, state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan opened its first cash machine in Shusha, the largest town taken by Azerbaijani forces from Armenia during a six-week war for control of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that ended in November. Azerbaijani business has rushed to follow soldiers and open up operations in the region.

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— This story was first published in issue 467 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Armenian banks improve profits despite coronavirus

JULY 28 (The Bulletin) — Banks in Armenia increased their net profit in the first half of the year by 5.9%, media reported by quoting a banking lobby group. It said that despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which analysts said would cause a recession in Armenia, all 17 banks in the country had been profitable so far in 2020.

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— This story was published in issue 455 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on July 31 2020.

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

Georgia’s TBC Bank launches online bank in Uzbekistan

JULY 24 (The Bulletin) — Georgia’s TBC Bank launched its digital subsidiary bank in Uzbekistan. TBC, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has branded the bank as the first fully online bank in Uzbekistan. It has followed Kazakhstan’s Halyk Bank in setting up a subsidiary in Uzbekistan but while Halyk Bank has said it is targeting lending out to businesses, TBC has said that it is targeting ordinary people.

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— This story was published in issue 455 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on July 31 2020.

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020