Yesterday, BTA Bank JSC, Kazakhstan’s largest bank, announced that the government would acquire a controlling 78% interest in the bank in exchange for a KZT 251.3 billion (approximately $1.75 billion) capital injection. The government’s investment would be effected through the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, which is run by the government of Kazakhstan. Arman Dunayev, Deputy Chairman of Samruk-Kazyna’s Management Board, stated that: “We will continue providing our support to BTA, which has systemic importance for Kazakhstan and is a major lender to the non-commodity sector. It is our job to make sure that BTA is part of every government programme.” On Friday, BTA’s shareholders voted to approve an increase in the bank’s authorized capital stock and also approved the bank’s December 2008 memorandum of understanding with the government, the Kazakhstan National Bank, and the Agency on Regulation and Supervision of Financial Markets and Financial Organizations (FSA).

Also yesterday, Alliance Bank, Kazakhstan’s fourth-largest bank, announced that its major shareholder, Seimar Alliance Financial Corporation, sold 76% of the bank’s common shares to Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, which is run by the government of Kazakhstan, for a reportedly nominal sum and a commitment by Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund to place KZT 24 billion (approximately $200 million) on deposit at Alliance Bank “support its financial stability and further capitalization. ”

Separately, Kazkommertsbank announced that is has received KZT 120 billion (approximately $800 million) from the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund. The government of Kazakhstan has previously injected capital into its four largest banks in November.