USD/KZT 379.29 
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Kazakh Alliance Bank sells $704 million of stock in London

ASTANA. July 17. KAZINFORM. AO Alliance Bank sold shares for $704 million in London, the third Kazakh lender to sell stock abroad in less than a year. Alliance, the largest retail bank in Kazakhstan, sold 50.3 million global depositary receipts for $14 apiece. The shares were offered by Seimar Alliance Financial Corp., the bank's majority shareholder. Kazakhstan's $80 billion economy has grown an average of 10 percent a year since 2000, bolstered by rising oil and gas revenue. Banking assets almost doubled to 9.57 trillion tenge ($78.55 billion) in the year to April 1 amid a lending boom. Kazkommertsbank, Kazakhstan's biggest bank by assets, raised $846 million, more than originally sought, in a sale of GDRs in London in November. Halyk Savings Bank also sold shares in London, raising $680 million in December. Seimar granted the underwriters an option to increase the stock sale by 7.5 million GDRs. Alliance, whose shares are already traded in Almaty, has $2.6 billion in retail loans and focuses on high-margin lending to 1.6 million consumers, including unsecured ``express'' loans. Net income at the bank increased to 14.01 billion tenge in 2006, from 861 million tenge in 2004, the bank said June 21, Kazinform cites Bloomberg. Credit Suisse Group and UBS AG are managing Alliance's stock sale.


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