|Five years after nearly collapsing under the weight of bad debts, the once-hobbled Kazakh bank BTA has a spring in its step. Kazakhstan’s third-largest lender, 97% owned by sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, posted first-half earnings of T15.6 billion ($112 million), compared with a T658 billion loss a year ago. BTA chairman Kadyrzhan Damitov attributed the turnaround to a second debt restructuring completed in December 2012, helping boost first-half net interest income to T17 billion.
BTA’s focus this year has switched to locating and recouping billions of dollars that the bank alleges former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov stole. Ablazov was arrested in France on July 18 on a request from Ukraine. He maintains the charges of fraud are false and politically motivated, and that BTA’s problems stem from its nationalization in 2009........................................Full Article: Source