New Names in the RBK Case

On New Year’s eve, Bank RBK brought joy to its clients, depos­i­tors, and the mar­ket by announc­ing the trans­fer of the dubi­ous assets in the sum of 603 bln tenge to Special Financial Company DSFK. On the basis of the agree­ment sighed by Bank RBK, the gov­ern­ment, the National Bank of Kazakhstan, and the Kazakhmys group (or rather its own­er Vladimir Kim), the agency will be engaged in the return of bad loans.

Judging by the press-releas­es, the state of Bank RBK’s affairs is improv­ing. As of December 29, 2017, the bank obtained 245 bln tenge of the addi­tion­al funds from Vladimir Kim. Apart from that, in the begin­ning of January 2018, Bank RBK is expect­ing the third tranche of the sub­or­di­nat­ed loan from the National Bank of Kazakhstan in the amount of 60 bln tenge in addi­tion to the 150 bln received ear­li­er. All in all, the bank is to receive 234.7 bln tenge as part of the state sup­port program.

As a result of the com­mon efforts of the share­hold­er and the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the liq­uid assets of Bank RBK are soon to reach the mark of 180 bln tenge. The bank’s cur­rent liq­uid­i­ty ratio is expect­ed to be 4.0–4.5 which is more than ten times high­er than the regulator’s norm. Therefore, there can be no doubt that Bank RBK is safe and will not expe­ri­ence liq­uid­i­ty prob­lems in the com­ing year.

Note that the gov­ern­ment and the National Bank will not exe­cute Nazarbayev’s orders on the sub­ject in their entire­ty. On November 3, 2017, at the National Democratic Party Political Council meet­ing, Nursultan Nazarbayev not only request­ed to sta­bi­lize Bank RBK oper­a­tions but also ordered to put the thieves in the places where they ought to be. The let­ter request it seems will not be implemented.

We have already com­ment­ed on the dif­fi­cul­ty of the sit­u­a­tion that Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev and National Bank Chairman Daniyar Akishev had found them­selves. The lat­ter, in his pre-New Year inter­view to the Delovoy Kazakhstan news­pa­per, even expressed regret that the author­i­ties had to choose “not between the bad and the good but between the bad and the very bad. The choice, how­ev­er, had to be made because lack of action would have been even worse”.

Having found itself in a dead­lock sit­u­a­tion, Akorda decid­ed to save Bank RBK by any means nec­es­sary and was suc­cess­ful in its under­tak­ing. The Kazakhstanis should be thank­ful for the mere fact that, this time, the state had man­aged to involve bil­lion­aire Vladimir Kim in the res­cue oper­a­tion thus sig­nif­i­cant­ly less­en­ing their expens­es. However, this was the one and only author­i­ties’ suc­cess. According to inside infor­ma­tion, the nego­ti­a­tions with the two key fig­ures that con­tributed to Bank RBK’s prob­lems, name­ly Zhomart Ertayev and Dinmukhamed Idrisov, so far, have been fruitless.

This can large­ly be explained by the fact that the hands of the author­i­ties and the new Bank RBK man­age­ment are tied. The mat­ter is that, if the list of the busi­ness-projects and mon­ey laun­der­ing schemes that were grant­ed loans from Bank RBK would be made pub­lic, it might ignite a seri­ous polit­i­cal scan­dal and endan­ger one of Akorda’s most impor­tant fig­ures, President’s eldest daugh­ter Dariga Nazarbayeva.

It was Dariga Nazarbayeva who, in 2014, sold 100% shares of the Alma-TV cap­i­tal stock to Dinmukhamed Idrisov. The deal was closed on May 16, 2014. The sum was not made pub­lic but, accord­ing to the infor­ma­tion we received, it reached $250 mln obtained from Bank RBK via dif­fer­ent chan­nels. And, after that, the financ­ing of the Alma Group busi­ness that Alma-TV became a part of con­tin­ued via Bank RBK.

Zhomart Ertayev is President Emeritus of Alma Group. In 2014 – 2016, he was the head of Alma-TV (start­ing from February 2017, it was renamed as AlmaTel Kazakhstan) and, in September 2016, he became the Alma Group Chairman and the company’s President Emeritus.

According to the Russian busi­ness media, the Alma Group includes Kazakhstan’s Alma-TV, Russian Tsifra Odin, 2KOM, Tekhnologii Domovykh Setey +, Saratovskaya Tsifrovaya Telefonnaya Set. The Forbes mag­a­zine speaks about it in detail. We can­not esti­mate the total amount of Alma Group’s invest­ments in Kazakhstan and in Russia but, judg­ing by the media data, the pur­chase of Tsifra Odin only had cost the investor from 1.7 to 2 bln rubles.

Apart from that, in 2017, Zhomart Ertayev became the major­i­ty share­hold­er of two Russian banks. Particularly, in the spring, he pur­chased 5% shares of Troika‑D Bank from 3D Distribution Limited. Another 95% of the shares, as a result of two deals, came under the con­trol of closed-end mutu­al fund Eurasia Investments (under the man­age­ment of NIK Razvitie). Ertayev who took charge of the bank in the capac­i­ty of the chair­man is their ben­e­fi­cia­ry own­er. In its turn, from 2015, Troika‑D Bank has been a share­hold­er of Vokbank (full title – Volgo-Oksky Kommerchesky Bank) with 99.99% par­tic­i­pa­tion interest.

According to inside infor­ma­tion, Bank RBK’s mon­ey (and quite a large amount of it, too) flew in this direc­tion as well. But since the sus­pi­cion that it was Dariga Nazarbayeva who helped Dinmukhamed Idrisov and Zhomart Ertayev to obtain con­sid­er­able loans from the bank exists, Kazakhstan’s nego­tia­tors in Moscow can­not act hasti­ly, with­out a back­ward glance, oth­er­wise, the crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion would be open and Ertayev would end up on the inter­na­tion­al most want­ed list.

And Dariga did have the pos­si­bil­i­ties to help with the loans.

She could have influ­enced Bank RBK man­age­ment both her­self, as Head of non-prof­it Fund of the First President of Republic of Kazakhstan whose affil­i­at­ed struc­ture Directory of Property Management Fond-Invest was an RBK share­hold­er, and through her cur­rent hus­band Kayrat Sharipbayev who was also an influ­en­tial share­hold­er of the finan­cial institute.

Read also: The Backstory of Bank RBK Problem, Bank RBK: Behind the Scenes, On Monster Banks and the Regulator’s Blindness.

Article source: KazakhSTAN 2.0