April 28, 2018 / 10:18 AM / 24 days ago

Kazakh central bank suspends small lender's deposit licence

ALMATY, April 28 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s central bank suspended the retail deposit licence of small local lender Qazaq Banki for three months on Saturday, citing repeated violations of regulatory requirements.

Qazaq Banki, which has assets of about $1 billion, was one of three local banks criticised by President Nursultan Nazarbayev earlier this month over poor performance. Rating agency Standard and Poor’s this week cut Qazaq Banki’s rating to CCC- from ССС+.

One lender mentioned by Nazarbayev, Bank of Astana, has since limited cash withdrawals after a customer run. Fitch downgraded it to CCC from B this month. The third lender, Eximbank, has also been downgraded by S&P this year.

None of the three banks had been picked for a state-sponsored bailout programme under which the central bank provided a number of medium-sized lenders with capital injections to help them write off bad loans. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Andrew Bolton)

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