Nationalization of financial system won't be avoid
text: Dmitry Pertsev , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
Crisis made the government of Kazakhstan to take under control a financial sector. In general Kazakhstani government was left with nothing, but to nationalize the biggest financial-credit institutions of the country. Namely for the share of the first fourth of the banks - "BTA bank," "kazkomertzbank," Halyk bank and "Alliance-bank" - there is the lion's share of so called "non-state debt."
Namely resulted from it, if banks couldn't pay their debts (in 2009 according to the data of the Russian investment company "Troika Dialogue" Kazakhstani banks have to liquidate external debts for USD8 billion), and main threat of default originated.
Paralytic stroke, at least temporal, of banking system, would have caused a line of non-payments inside the country, by this, having disseminating stagnation for entire Kazakhstani economy.
Quite recently BTA bank and Alliance bank have been subjected to the nationalization, as a result they shifted under control of the state foundation Samruk-Kazyna, an asset which is fully is controlled by the state.
Last week the state entered the capital of one more system-forming bank - Halyk. The form of entering is capitalization of credit-financial institution at the expenses of the means of the state. As a result of the undertaken in two stages capitalization (March 27 and June 5) the Halyk bank was additionally capitalized for the total amount of KZT60 billion, having become the biggest bank of Kazakhstan on capitalization. After that, on June 5 Samruk-Kazyna has allocated over 196 million units of privileged shares, it started to control 20,9% of the Halyk bank's shares. In its turn, 54,1% of shares remained under the control of Holding group Almeks JSC ( parental company of the banking conglomerate of the Halyk group).
Notably, that a soft form of nationalization was chosen towards Halyk bank. For instance, BTA bank and Alliance bank were nationalized in more rough form, and a chairman of the board of directors Mukhtar Ablyazov even had to immigrate from the country.
One should remember, that the chairman of the board of the Halyk bank had been Grigoriy Marchenko, at present chairman of the National bank. He namely conducted known to everyone devaluation of tenge on February 4, when national currency was during one day devaluated by 25 % in average.
Such measures, according to Marchenko and other official bodies of Kazakhstani government, were forced ones, because of the latent inflation golden reserves of the country started to melt rapidly. Further support of the tenge rate to the rate of American dollar at the previous rate - 120 tenge per dollar - could, according to them lead to erosion of reserves and growth of tension on the foreign currency market. Any tension, surely, would have been reflected in blasting inflation in the moment, when the state had to stop interventions on the foreign currency market. It is supposed, that the rate at the level of 150 plus-minus 3 % tenge per dollar will be provided by the National bank till the end of the current year.
The situation after devaluation was taken differently. State bodies praised firm measures of the National bank, which prevented galloping inflation and which provided a relative stability of macroeconomic indices of Kazakhstani economy. In its turn, independent economists criticized the National bank for artificial exemption from pockets of Kazakhstanis 25% of money in tenge.
The time showed, the National bank managed to keep on the surface situation on foreign currency market. Unlike in Russia, where smooth devaluation led to the total inflation in the period from the autumn of the last year up to February of the current year by 40 %, Kazakhstan managed to devaluated its national currency in average by 25 %.
On necessity of devaluation one more fact says: recently at the same measure, as at a straw, Tajikistan has hold up. The difference is in the amount of losses, which national economies face. If Kazakhstan lost less than Russia, then Tajikistan because of the absence of amortization pillow (money, accumulated in the before crisis period) will suffer in a great way.
Devaluation - it is a measure, which is crucial for saving national economy from partial or entire default. Following the logics, soon the devaluation of some is to be expected in Kyrgyzstan. As for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, in these states, because of their closeness, mechanisms of devaluation may bear not transparent character.
Devaluation and simultaneous nationalization of banking sector - is a main anti-crisis measure. In this regard actions of the National bank of Kazakhstan can be considered as optimal from the economics point of view.
What will be
It is supposed that the state fund 'Samruk-Kazyna' will not interfere with the operation activity of the Halyk bank and it plans to remain a shareholder during limited time. In connection with this Holding company Almeks JSC has an opportunity backward purchase of simple and privileged shares.
Such scheme was not applied towards BTA bank. It will be completely or partially sold to the Russian "Sberbank." The Russian took time-out till autumn, in order to resolve finally, in what form - the only owner or shareholder - they will enter the banking sector of Kazakhstan.
Naturally, this time-out may be used by 'Samruk-Kazyna' for the search of another strategic investor.
In general, history of inter-relations of the state and BTA bank is interesting itself. At the end of October of the last year the government of Kazakhstan at the background of the developing global financial-economic crisis addressed to the shareholders of the four system-forming banks with an offer to invest additional money in their shareholder capital. And it was stated, that participation 'Samruk-Kazyna' will be limited with 25%. At the end of November 'Samruk-Kazyna' and banks signed memos on mutual understanding in the issues of providing them with additional capitalization. As a result of the flee of the chairman of the board of directors BTA bank Mukhtar Ablyazov and the following after that events the share of 'Samruk-Kazyna' has grown up to 78% and extra.
The urgent nationalization is possible on the reason, which is sounded by Grigoriy Marchenko. BTA bank, during several months before its entering capital of 'Samruk-Kazyna,' happened to pay on its current accounts at the expenses of short-term weekly credits of the National bank. Marchenko informed, that he has an official letter of the BTA bank's management that it is not capable to serve these short-term credits of the National bank.
According to Marchenko, the state had to take the bank under control in order not to allow defaults on external and internal obligations.
How to calm down the state heart
Soon one more action from the state is to be expected towards 'Kazkommertbank.' Taking into account the situation which was formed, in relation of this bank there will be used a so-called 'soft-form' of nationalization: 'Samruk-Kazyna' will get up to one forth of control under the asset, and the rest in one or another proportion will be left for private shareholders of the bank.
In all this story about nationalization of system-forming banks the naive behavior of its top-managers could not but surprise. Thus, the former chairman of the board of directors BTA bank Roman Solodchenko (by the way, who also abandoned the country after Ablyazov) recently considered, that "entering of the government to the capital of the bank (BTA bank) is, I consider, an additional guarantee for our investors, that all obligations of the bank will be fulfilled further on."
These words can be perceived as reverence towards the state, which decided to undertake not only a control over the asset, but the obligations of the asset. Experts always doubted that. The prove for this became recent statements of the National bank, which declared that the state is not going to take debts of the banking sector. Thus, hopes that entering of the state in the shareholders' capital of the banks will protect them from obligations on external debts, were not proved true.
The state chose another path. Namely, having declared of default on external obligations, state managers offer external creditors to reconsider terms of loans lending, to restructure them on the existing rates.
And now, when it became clear, that the state is intended to accumulate a sovereign debt at the expenses debts of banking system, creditors turned out to be in a suspended position. If they will demand a preterm payment of the debts and will address with the suits to the court, then Kazakhstani government will have to recognize bankruptcy of the banks. Bankcruptcy means, that at the expense of the assets sale the bank will pay out to its creditors. But the assets may be not enough to pay out all the debts, attracted by the West. It is well understood not only by Kazakhstani government, but the creditors themselves.
Therefore, there is no alternative to restructurization of the debt (creditors will get their money, but later, although in full) at present is not seen.
Notwithstanding, it is notably even now, that Kazakhstani government correctly considered its actions. After the nationalization exit of 'Samruk-Kazyna' from banks should follow. But no one knows yet, when and under what conditions this will happen.
Also in the "In Depth"
09.01.2013 2012 marked by multiple events in Kazakhstan