EBRD takes equity stake in KazInvestBank
LONDON. July 4. KAZINFORM. The EBRD is taking an equity stake of up to 25 per cent in KazInvestBank, valued at up to 2.5 billion Tenge ($20 million), to support the bank’s regional expansion in Kazakhstan and the further development of its lending activities, especially in the retail and SME sectors. Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI) has also taken a stake worth $20 million in KazInvestBank. It is the first investment in Kazakhstan by CVCI. CVCI, a unit of Citibank N.A., is a leading private equity investor in the growth markets with over $ 7.5 billion in investments and commitments. Following the transactions, both investors will be represented at the bank’s Board of Directors, with one director each. The involvement of EBRD and CVCI is expected to help further strengthen KazInvestBank’s corporate governance standards, organisational structure, policies and procedures. KazInvestBank started its commercial banking operations in 2004 and has developed rapidly. The bank’s strategy focuses on corporate lending and retail operations. KazInvestBank based in Almaty, plans to establish branches in all major regional commercial centres of the country. EBRD President Jean Lemierre said the investment will strengthen a promising bank in Kazakhstan and have a positive impact on the country’s financial sector by increasing competition and setting higher standards of corporate governance and business conduct. “The EBRD will not only bring capital but also its experience, expertise and know-how to this new partnership”, he added. Sunil Nair (Managing Director and Head, Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Citi Venture Capital International) commented: “We are delighted to be investing in KazInvestBank, one of the most enterprising and innovative banks in Kazakhstan. We look forward to working with the other shareholders and the management team to further strengthen and expand the company’s operations. This investment is demonstrative of CVCI’s deep interest in private equity opportunities in the region.” Nurlan Kapparov, chairman of the Board of Directors of KazInvestBank since 2003, said the new partnership with EBRD and CVCI represents the highest level of foreign participation so far in a Kazakh Bank. “We hope that the presence of such investors and an internationally experienced management team at KIB will allow us to expand our business and achieve an unparalleled level of success in several key customer segments,” he added. Erbolat Dossaev, who has been nominated to take over as Board Chairman said, “We are very pleased by the completion of this investment and believe that it will position KazInvestBank as one of the highest quality banks in Kazakhstan, combining international experience and know how with a very strong understanding of the local market.” In March 2006, the EBRD provided KazInvestBank with $10 million under its Trade Facilitation Programme to be used for guarantees and cash disbursements. Trade financing is another core activity of KazInvestBank, Kazinform cites News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.