12 Jul 2022 16:24

OFAC extends deadline to wind down business with Sberbank Kazakhstan until Oct 11

ALMATY. July 12 (Interfax) - Sberbank of Russia's subsidiary in Kazakhstan will operate without restrictions until October 11, 2022 as the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control or OFAC has extended the deadline for winding down operations with the bank by another three months, the press office of Kazakhstan's Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market said in a statement.

The Kazakh agency said that during the specified period the bank will continue operating as normal and its clients can conduct transactions involving payments and transfers without restrictions.

It was reported earlier that Sberbank Kazakhstan planned to hold a shareholders' extraordinary meeting on July 7, 2022, to discuss the issue of amending the terms of a major deal on the sale of the bank. However the bank's press office said that the meeting was not held.

As reported, Kazakhstan's National Management Holding Company Baiterek is in talks with Sberbank over the purchase of its subsidiary and is a main contender for the deal.

Kazakhstan-based subsidiaries of the Russian banks VTB, Alfa-Bank and Sberbank were added to the U.S. sanctions list in March this year. Kazakhstan's Bank CenterCredit completed the acquisition of 100% of Alfa-Bank's subsidiary in Kazakhstan in May 2022. The subsidiaries of Sberbank and VTB in Kazakhstan have been looking for investors. Sberbank notes interest among investors from different countries in this asset.

The United States imposed blocking sanctions on Sberbank on April 6. They stipulate a freeze on assets in the U.S. and a ban on U.S. citizens carrying out operations with the bank.

The bank was included in the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List) and the deal had to end on July 12, 2022.

The U.S. sanctions lists also included a number of Sberbank Group companies, including subsidiary banks in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, as well as Sberbank Europe AG, whose European authorities earlier decided to bankrupt it.

Subsidiary Bank of Sberbank of Russia in Kazakhstan ranked second by assets among the 22 second-tier banks operating in Kazakhstan as of June 1, 2022, according to the National Bank.