Kazakhstani court blocks Jusan Bank shares

A part of Jusan Bank shares have been arrested / Shutterstock

The Bostandyk district court in Almaty has arrested common and privileged shares of Jusan Bank that belong to First Heartland Securities, the majority stakeholder of the bank, according to the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE).

The court arrested 131.3 million common and privileged shares belonging to First Heartland Securities – the company that controls 78.23% of Jusan Bank stock – back on February 15, although the news about the move went public only on February 21. The lawsuit doesn’t cover 33 million other shares (19.67%), which are controlled by businessman Galymzhan Esenov.

On February 16, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan said that the transfer of the property of Pioneer Capital Invest, owner of Jusan Group, into foreign jurisdiction, including British First Heartland Jusan Technologies, was a result of a murky scheme. Under the terms of that deal, the Kazakhstani company has given a 99.7% stake to the British company along with shares in several investment funds and £10 million.

Kazakhstan’s authorities now want these assets back in the country. Almaty prosecutors have already filed a lawsuit in an attempt to persuade the court to nullify the deal between Kazakhstani Pioneer Capital Invest and British Jusan Technologies Ltd. Moreover, prosecutors want $277.9 million in dividends First Heartland Securities earned in 2020 and a $51 million penalty for benefiting from funds the company obtained illegally.

The next day, one of Jusan Holdings’ subsidiaries approached a court in the State of Nevada where it filed a lawsuit against the government of Kazakhstan in order to prevent assets from being recovered to Kazakhstan.

In its lawsuit, the company said that Kazakhstan’s authorities are trying to get control over $1.5 billion worth of assets with the help of confiscation, expropriation, threats and intimidation, measures which are «attributes of many authoritarian regimes and dictatorships.» The company also said that because of actions by Kazakhstan’s government, the proper financial support of several educational organizations in Kazakhstan is no longer possible. In turn, the General Prosecutor’s Office stated that even though the company fully controls the financial group, it failed to meet the needs of students of those educational entities.

First Heartland Securities controls 78.7% of shares of Jusan Group. In turn, this company belongs to Jusan Technologies – registered in the U.K. – which is controlled by the U.S. Jusan Holdings. The final owner of the Jusan Group is New Generation Foundation, an American endowment.

Pioneer Capital Invest was the Jusan Group’s owner until 2020. In turn, the company was controlled by several entities including funds controlled by the government of Kazakhstan and the Nazarbayev Fund, founded by former president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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