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Kazakhstan eyes sukuks

Marchenko plays down Eurobond option; Bank restructurings nearing completion

Grigoriy Marchenko, governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan

"I warned the investor community [of the dangers] of lending to BTA and Alliance Bank. Those that heeded me are not part of the restructuring process"

Grigoriy Marchenko

One of Kazakhstan’s most senior officials has tempered expectations that the sovereign will issue its first Eurobond in a decade, saying that an Islamic bond is more likely in the second half of the year, once the debt restructurings of the country’s stricken banks are complete. Grigoriy Marchenko, governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, says that the debt restructurings at Alliance Bank and BTA should be resolved before the government considers accessing the international markets. Although the Alliance Bank restructuring is almost done it will be several weeks before the process will be complete at BTA, Kazakhstan’s biggest bank, by which time the sovereign’s preferred date to tap the market will have passed.

"BTA needs to get the agreement of two-thirds of its creditors by March 23 and then it will take another four to six weeks and the window [to issue] is April and May," said Marchenko, speaking on the sidelines of Euromoney’s Central and Eastern European Forum held in Vienna last month.