Igor Kim, a Russian businessman and co-owner of Russian Expobank, has closed a deal to buy the Kazakh business of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), RBS Kazakhstan said said on July 4.
The deal represents the latest to see foreign lenders exiting the Kazakh market. RBS, along with Italy's UniCredit and UK's HSBC, announced that they would quit the Kazakh market citing limited opportunities for development as the low price of oil led to an economic crisis in Kazakhstan. UniCredit sold its ATF Bank to Galimzhan Yesenov, son-in-law of the former mayor of Almaty, Akhmetzhan Yesimov, in 2013. HSBC sold its Kazakh subsidiary to Halyk Bank, controlled by President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s daughter Dinara and her husband Timur Kulibayev, in 2014.
RBS also said the sale is in line with its strategy to focus on the main markets. RBS agreed to sell its Kazakh lender to Kim in March, just months after offloading its Russia business to the same banker
Kim said the acquisition of RBS’s units in Russia and Kazakhstan is part of his plans to expand his banking business. He cited RBS’s experience and reputation as the selling points of the Kazakh bank.
The new owner plans to continue the bank’s focus on corporate clients in Kazakhstan.
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