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International consortium of investors enters the shareholders' list of JSC "Bank TuranAlem"

24.08.2006 / Press-service

A consortium led by Swedish investment manager East Capital and including fund managed by Firebird, today announced the purchase of 351,139 shares of Bank TuranAlem in Kazakhstan, representing 7.71 % of the Bank. The block was sold by Raiffeisen International of Austria. The sum of the deal – EUR 136.5m.

The First Deputy Chairman of Bank TuranAlem, Yerkin Tatishev considers the deal to be advantageous for all participants. "Collaboration with East Capital will add to BTA's development strategy, increase its investment appeal and further strengthen the corporate governance. It is a sound confirmation of trust and interest in BTA from international investors. For new shareholders it is an opportunity to contribute to the IPO preparation process and to gain profit on the increase in equity value."

"This was a unique opportunity to invest in the leading bank in Kazakhstan and we were very happy to lead this consortium. We still see enormous growth potential in the Kazakh market and particularly in Bank TuranAlem. We look forward to working with the other shareholders towards the positive development of the Bank", said Peter Elam Hakansson, Chairman of the Investment Committee of East Capital Explorer Financial Institutions Fund and Chairman of the East Capital Group.

East Capital is a leading, independent asset manager specialising in Eastern European financial markets. The company, which is headquartered in Stockholm, with offices in Paris, Hong Kong, Tallinn, Moscow and Oslo, actively manages over EUR 2.7bn, basing its investment strategy on thorough knowledge of the markets, fundamental analysis and frequent company visits by fund managers and analysts.

The East Capital Financial Institutions Fund is a EUR 350m private equity fund, which makes equity investments in companies within the financial sector in Eastern Europe.

Firebird manages over USD 2.3 bn in seven funds dedicated to equity investment in emerging markets, with an emphasis on CIS and Eastern Europe. Firebird clients are financial institutions and high net worth individuals from the United States, Europe and Asia. The Firebird Fund, created in 1994, was among the first funds dedicated to investments in publicly traded Russian equities.

JSC "Bank TuranAlem" is the system-making bank of Kazakhstan and the leader in creating a banking network in the CIS countries. As of 1 August 2006, BTA's assets exceeded USD 10 bn, while its total capital exceeded USD 1.7 bn. Among Kazakhstan's second tier banks, JSC "Bank TuranAlem" confidently holds the leading position in trade financing, SME lending and mortgage loans. In 2008, BTA plans to be one of the largest private banks in the CIS. Since 2001, the shareholders of the bank include the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD), the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company.