US authorities extend license for Sber subsidiary in Kazakhstan

The bank will continue to operate until October

On July 11, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Department of Finance extended the license for Sberbank Kazakhstan for three months until October 11, 2022, according to Kazakhstan’s Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market (ARDFM).

«This means that during the following three months Sberbank Kazakhstan will be able to operate as usual. The bank’s clients can make any type of transaction with no limitations,» the agency reported.

On April 6, 2022, OFAC put Sberbank Russia on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and imposed blocking sanctions against the entity and its subsidiaries. The OFAC said that all transactions with these entities must be completed before July 12.

Later it was announced that Sberbank Kazakhstan might be sold. On May 6, Baiterek, a public holding and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development were called as potential buyers.

On May 11, Madina Abylkasymova, head of the ARDFM, said that Sberbank and VTB were looking for investors. Once they found them, the agency will help both banks to negotiate with the American government to remove them from the SDN list. «This is necessary to avoid the risk of secondary sanctions against Kazakhstani banks,» she said.

According to Alexander Vedykhin, the first deputy head of Sber, the Russian bank was going to close the deal with Baiterek before July 10 as the Kazakhstani state holding is the main candidate for that. 

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