* 2011 net income f‘cast 40-45 bln tenge
* Gross loan portfolio growth f‘cast 10 pct
* 2010 net income 36.2 billion tenge
* Lower interest expenses, impairment charges
(Recasts with 2011 forecast)
By Olga Orininskaya and Maria Gordeyeva
ALMATY, March 15 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s Halyk Bank HSBK.KZ (HSBKq.L) forecast an increase of at least 10 percent in net income this year, driven by a similar revival in its loan portfolio.
In a presentation on its website www.halykbank.kz Halyk on Tuesday forecast net income of between 40 billion tenge ($274 million) and 45 billion in 2011 and said its gross loan portfolio would grow by around 10 percent this year. The bank, Kazakhstan’s second-largest by assets, said in a separate statement its net income had more than doubled to 36.2 billion tenge last year, helped by lower interest expenses and impairment charges.
Kazakhstan’s banking sector, among the first and hardest hit by the global financial crisis, has begun to recover in tandem with a growing economy after some banks completed billion-dollar debt restructuring programmes and others drew on state help.
“The year 2010 has been a turning point for Kazakhstan as its economy and financial system revealed positive growth,” Chief Executive Umut Shayakhmetova said, adding that the bank had improved the quality of its loan portfolio last year.
Halyk said 2010 net interest income increased sixfold to 43.6 billion tenge, while its impairment charge fell 42 percent to 48.4 billion, reflecting a more stable loan portfolio.
The net profit gain was partly offset by lower interest income and pension fund and asset management fees, as well as an increase in operating expenses.
Halyk and its biggest shareholder agreed this month to buy back a 19.8 percent stake acquired by the state during the financial crisis. [ID:nLDE72907K]
In its presentation, the bank said it had no current plans in respect of the preferred shares still owned by sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna. (Writing by Robin Paxton; Editing by Dan Lalor and David Holmes)