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Best FIG borrower – Emerging Europe: Bank TuranAlem

The Kazakh bank has embraced new currencies and structures.

The world’s best borrowers in 2006

Financial institutions have provided bankers with the bulk of business from emerging Europe in the past 12 months, making this category the most competitive in the region. And this growing competition has led some of emerging Europe’s strongest banks to become increasingly innovative as they seek to access new investor bases through new products.

Top of the pile has been Kazakhstan’s Bank TuranAlem (BTA). Before 2005, only Kazakhstan’s three biggest banks – KKB, BTA and Halyk – had regular access to the Eurobond markets, but last year a proliferation of top 10 names came to market. With these debuts from CenterCredit, Alliance Bank, Nurbank, Bank Caspian and ATF Bank, the sector’s biggest players had to work harder to find a new audience.

“TuranAlem just has the edge in sophistication over Kazkommertsbank,” says one head of emerging market syndicate.

High demand

A leading focus for the bank has been new currencies and structures. In March it sold a Z200 million ($67 million) five-year bond that carries a 6.3% coupon — the first time a Kazakh issuer had issued in the Polish currency. At Z200 million, the deal was larger than most Eurobonds in the currency not issued by the Polish government.

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