Kazakhstan authorities want to take back control over Jusan Group

Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor’s Office wants to take back control over Jusan Group / Shutterstock

The General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan is going to take back control over the Jusan Group to protect the interests of thousands of students of Nazarbayev University and Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools. Despite this statement the agency published on Telegram, Jusan Bank rushed to say that any initiatives, comments or rumors about the asset recovery have nothing to do with the bank itself.

The General Prosecutor’s Office insists that the transfer of property of Pioneer Capital Invest (the company that owns Jusan Group) was opaque. The agency came to this conclusion after a review of the country’s banking sector to see if there were any traces of money laundering.

«On April 2020, the Pioneer Capital Invest stakeholders approved the transfer of the company’s property into capital stock of Jusan Technologies Ltd., a company registered outside of Kazakhstan,» the General Prosecutor’s Office said.

According to the agency, these actions have violated the interests of tens of thousands of Kazakhstani students at Nazarbayev University and Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools. All these educational organizations have partially relied on dividends from shares, bonds and deposits in the Jusan Group.

The Almaty Prosecutor’s Office is trying to challenge the deal between Pioneer Capital Invest and Jusan Technologies Ltd. at the court. The law enforcement agency believes that the deal was aimed at the withdrawal of assets controlled by First Heartland Jusan Bank and related organizations to foreign jurisdictions.

A similar complaint was filed to the General Prosecutor’s Office by Nazarbayev Foundation on February 3. The foundation wanted the prosecutors to investigate the illegal transfer of the Jusan Group to foreigners. However, the lawsuit has nothing to do with Jusan Bank, its business activity or its relations with its clients and partners, the foundation representatives said.

The press service of Jusan Bank said that the bank operates as usual and any speculations about asset recovery to Kazakhstan have nothing do to with the bank itself.

«The bank, as well as its assets, are located in Kazakhstan and they work for the benefit of Kazakhstan’s economy,» the bank’s press service said. The bank reported $182.8 million in net profit last year.

The Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market (ARDFM) confirmed that the lawsuit filed by the General Prosecutor’s Office bears no risks for the bank. The agency also said that Jusan Bank is financially stable and fully meets its obligations to clients.

«Jusan Bank is one of the biggest commercial banks in our country. It is ranked third in terms of equity capital ($1.1 billion) and sixth in terms of assets ($813 million). The liquidity rate is $3.3 billion. The bank has been implementing prudential standards with a significant surplus,» the agency said.

According to Aslan Sarinzhipov, head of the educational cluster of Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan lost its control over the bank last summer. In August 2022, the U.S. endowment that controls the Jusan Group assets removed all board members who represented Kazakhstan and the group is now controlled by foreigners.

Nursultan Nazarbayev Foundation filed an official complaint to the endowment and even initiated the opening of a legal case in the U.S. to restore Kazakhstan’s representatives in the American endowment and to take back assets illegally obtained in Kazakhstan. Sarinzhipov also noted that all these actions were coordinated with the General Prosecutor’s Office.

As of January 2023, 78.73% of Jusan Bank was controlled by First Heartland Securities. In turn, this company is owned by Jusan Technologies controlled by NU Generation Foundation, a non-commercial organization established to finance Nazarbayev University and Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and their subsidiaries.

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