Kazakhstan sets Dec.7 deadline for BTA debt talks

October 1, 2009

The logo of the BTA bank is seen on the top of its office in Almaty February 2, 2009. Kazakhstan effectively nationalised its top bank BTA and sacked an ex-opposition leader as its key manager on Monday as a deepening financial crisis acquired political undertones in Central Asia's biggest economy.   REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov  (KAZAKHSTAN)   ASTANA, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Kazakh state-run bank BTA <BTAS.KZ> has until December 7 to finalise its $10 billion debt restructuring deal, the banking regulator said on Thursday.
   “…An agreement with creditors must be signed by December 7,” Financial Supervision Agency (FSA) Chairwoman Yelena Bakhmutova told reporters.
   BTA has asked creditors to cut its debt by $8 billion while they have offered only a $5 billion reduction saying the bank’s provisions were excessive. Both proposals were included in a plan which Bakhmutova said has been approved by the FSA.
   BTA has said that auditors hired by the bank and creditors would now check its provisions to determine how much debt needs to be written off.
   The government took over BTA in February and sacked its former managers accusing them of fraud, a charge they deny. In April, BTA went into default and has since written down roughly a half of its loan book.
   Bakhmutova said another Kazakh bank in default, smaller lender Alliance <ALLBq.L> was on track to finalise its $4.2 debt restructuring deal.
    “We expect (a deal with creditors) to be signed within a few days,” she said.
 (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mike Nesbit)
 ((olzhas.auyezov@reuters.com; +7 7272 508500; Reuters Messaging: olzhas.auyezov.reuters.com@reuters.net))
Thursday, 01 October 2009 08:01:24RTRS [nL1442735 ] {C}ENDS

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