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Sberbank KTZ to Finance Projects and Organise Debt

Thursday 1 December 2011

ALMATY (Reuters) – Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, signed a US $3 billion deal with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) to finance projects and organise debt issuance for the Kazakh state railway firm, the companies said on Wednesday.

Sberbank Rossii (RTS:SBER / MICEX:SBER) is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe. The company’s headquarters are in Moscow and its history goes back to Cancrin’s financial reform of 1841. In many regions Sberbank is practically the only bank capable of providing local administrations with complex banking services and of rendering significant financial support in implementing investment and social programs. Sberbank is the only bank in Russia to benefit from a government guarantee on deposits. The bank offers a full range of savings, investment, and lending services.

“The cooperation memorandum aims to develop and finance KTZ’s infrastructure and investment projects,” Sberbank and KTZ said in a statement after a signing ceremony attended by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov and Sberbank Chief Executive German Gref.

The companies gave no breakdown of the $3 billion agreement and no time frame for the investment. Sberbank and KTZ officials could not immediately be reached for further details.

Sberbank said in the statement it would act as the main organiser of the railway firm’s public debt issuance and provide various financial services.

Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ; ҚТЖ) is the national railway company of Kazakhstan. Founded by the government in 2002 as a joint stock company KTZ’s task is to develop, operate, and maintain railway transportation in Kazakhstan. It is headquartered in Astana. Related stock companies own the rolling stock, the hauling equipment, and the passenger transport division. Repair facilities have been privatized. Private companies may own or rent rolling stock that can use the rail system.

Fitch Ratings this month raised its outlook on KTZ to positive from stable and affirmed its BBB- rating for the state company. KTZ’s outstanding debt includes 10-year Eurobonds worth $350 million maturing in 2016 and $700 million maturing in 2020.

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