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Azerbaijan I Kazakhstan I Kyrgyzstan I Uzbekistan

BEST BANK: Halyk Bank

The Kazakh banking sector has been doing extremely well, with total assets growing by about 40% last year. We have decided to give the award for best Kazakh bank to Halyk Bank, because it is best positioned where the juiciest growth is – in retail lending and mortgages. Its consumer loan portfolio grew by 25% last year, and it has secured the top spot in the credit card market. It also has over 25% of the mortgage market. It now remains to be seen if CEO Grigori Marchenko can make good on his intention to attract a foreign buyer this year.

KKB has also had an impressive year, not least in its funding. It did the first future flow securitization, and also raised a $1.3 billion loan, easily the biggest banking loan ever in the CIS.

Besides doing plain vanilla loans like the bridge facility for KazTransGaz, ABN Amro has proved itself as an innovator in the loan markets. It repackaged Bank TuranAlem’s mortgage loan portfolio into the country’s first MBS earlier this year, and also arranged two benchmark grain export-backed loans for Ivolga, a Kazakh grain company.

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