Kazakhstani mogul acquires Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan

Business news correspondent
The buyer of the bank is Visor International DMCC / Collage by Kursiv.media

Halyk Bank has sold 100% shares of its subsidiary Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan to a consortium of buyers from Visor International DMCC, the bank’s press service said in a statement.

Aidan Karibzhanov, ranked 19th in the 50 most powerful businessmen in Kazakhstan by Forbes, is the majority shareholder in Visor. With a fortune of $226 million, he has interests in various companies such as Greencity KZ, Northern Wind Kazakhstan, Aua Energy, Aspan Energo and Sarma Energy. All of them are engaged in electricity generation from wind. The businessman also controls a stake in Teniz Service through Waterford International Holdings Ltd.

According to Visor Group, Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan will continue to operate as it is and expand its business in Kyrgyzstan.

Visor and Halyk Bank signed a purchase agreement on October 24, 2023. On November 10, the bank said it had reached an «arrangement» with the investment group. As of February, the Kyrgyzstani regulator hadn’t yet approved the deal.

Even though neither of the two sides revealed financial details of the deal, in its latest financial statement Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan estimated its assets for sale at $35.2 million.

This is not the first time that Halyk Bank has sold its subsidiaries abroad. In November 2022, the bank sold 100% of its shares in Halyk Bank Tajikistan to the International Bank of Tajikistan. That deal was closed in two weeks after the final decision was made.

In the same month, Halyk Bank sold 100% shares of Russian Moscommertsbank; the deal was closed within one month, although it is still unclear who exactly acquired the bank. A source familiar with the issue told Kursiv.media that structures affiliated with the Sinara Group from Ekaterinburg are likely in charge of the bank now. In March 2023, it was reported that the Russian bank was sold for just $16.3 million, whereas Halyk Bank estimated its losses from the deal at $41.9 million.

So far, Halyk Bank runs two subsidiaries in Georgia and Uzbekistan (Tenge Bank). In 2023, the number of investments in Halyk Bank Georgia from its parent company increased by 1.5 times to $89.7 million.

Last year, Halyk Bank reported $1.5 billion in net profit, a 21.8% increase over the prior year. The bank is primarily controlled by Timur Kulibayev and his spouse Dinara Kulibayeva through the ALMEX holding (56.39%), while the Bank of New York, a nominee shareholder, controls 23.14% of the stock. The bank’s securities are also available on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE).

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