BTA Bank quits KazPrime Inter-bank Index
BTA Bank is suspending its participation in Kazakhstan's key inter-bank deposit indicator, KazPrime, due to its debt restructuring process, the Kazakh Stock Exchange said on Thursday.
The move leaves KazPrime with a bare minimum of five participants it officially requires to compile data.
It also comes at a time when investor confidence in Kazakhstan, Central Asia's top economy, hard hit by the global crisis, continues to shrink following a string of borrower defaults.
BTA, nationalized in February, is in talks to restructure its $12 billion debt and has said its creditors may face losses of up to 97 percent.
"(BTA's) decision to quit (KazPrime) was made due to the need to complete the debt restructuring procedure," the stock exchange said in a statement.
Citigroup's (C.N) local unit left Kazprime earlier this month citing reduced credit lines available for its Kazakh counterparts. KazPrime participants quote rates for deposits with a minimum size of $1 million Andrei Tsalyuk, vice president of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange which runs KazPrime, said the two banks' exit would not harm its operations and may only help it work more accurately.
"It (their exit) is the result of organisers' work ... aimed at making the indicator more representative," he said.
The other members of KazPrime are Kazakh subsidiaries of HSBC, RBS and UniCredit as well as local lenders Kazkommertsbank (and Halyk.
Three-month KazPrime rate fell 51 basis points on Thursday to 8.93 percent per annum, according to Reuters.