U.S. authorities remove Sberbank subsidiary in Kazakhstan from sanctions list

Bereke Bank
Bereke Bank is no longer under sanctions / Askar Akhmetullin

Bereke Bank, a former subsidiary of Sberbank Russia, which is now under the control of the state-owned holding Baiterek, is no longer on the sanctions list, according to the U.S. Ministry of Finance.

On March 8, the Kursiv edition wrote that on March 9, 2023, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department is going to launch an official procedure of withdrawal of Bereke Bank from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN). The bank had been on the list since April 2022. At the time, it was a subsidiary of Russian Sberbank.

«On February 6, OFAC officially notified the U.S. Congress that it is going to lift sanctions from Bereke Bank. This means that the agency no longer has claims against the bank and that its intention is quite clear. On March 8, it will be 30 days after the initial notification filed by OFAC. After that, the agency can proceed with the removal of Bereke from the SDN,» the press service of Bereke Bank said in a statement.

In April 2022, OFAC put Sberbank and its subsidiaries on the SDN. As a result, in October 2022, Sberbank sold its Kazakhstani subsidiary to the National Management Holding Baiterek. The bank was later renamed Bereke Bank. Despite sanctions, OFAC extended Sberbank Kazakhstan’s license on four occasions to let the bank conduct financial transactions prohibited for other entities on the SDN. 

In September 2022, Kanat Sharlapayev, head of the Baiterek holding, said that once Bereke Bank is out of the SDN, it will be sold to a foreign investor.

As of February 1, 2023, Bereke Bank was ranked 9th in terms of assets ($3.4 billion). Its liabilities and equity capital reached $3.10 billion and $299 million respectively.

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