According to Ms. Madina Abylkasova, head of the Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market in Kazakhstan, several foreign banks have frozen about $21.3 million that Sberbank, Alfa-Bank and VTB kept in their correspondent bank accounts.
As the official noted, the move followed sanctions leading Western countries imposed on Russia and its financial institutions because of the invasion of Ukraine. As a result, Sberbank, Alfa-Bank and Bank VTB lost access to $6.2 million, $14.3 million and $694,980 respectively ($21.3 million in total).
“Foreign banks have blocked payments in foreign currency for some clients of Sberbank Kazakhstan for $6.7 million in total. At the same time, some clients of Alfa-Bank lost their access to $9 million,” she said.
Abylkasymova also noted that Bank CenterCredit, which acquired Alfa-Bank recently, is negotiating with the U.S. and other Western countries to lift sanctions from its new asset. Concerning Bank VTB there is no information about blocking or freezing money from being used for payments or money transfers.
On April 6, the United States imposed blocking sanctions against subsidiaries of Sber and Alfa-Bank in Kazakhstan. It means that all assets of these banks on U.S. soil must be frozen. Also, U.S. citizens and companies are prohibited from any kind of transactions with those two banks.
Kazakhstani Bank CenterCredit has acquired Alfa Bank and now wants to rename it. Russian Sberbank is also going to sell its subsidiary in Kazakhstan.