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18 May 2015
London, 18 May 2015 -- Unchanged since 2008, the banking system outlook is negative for
Kazakhstan (Baa2 stable), says Moody's Investors Service.
Over the 12-18 month outlook period, Moody's central
scenario is for a 20% devaluation in the local currency (tenge)
by the end of 2016, making debt servicing much harder for the 30%
of the system's loan book that is foreign-currency denominated.
Further pressure on capital ratios from currency devaluation could arise
as we expect banks' credit costs in 2015 slightly more than double from
1.5% of gross loans reported in 2014. Pre-provision
profitability will be negatively affected by higher funding costs due
to interest rate rise and the recent shift in favour of foreign-currency
The new report "Banking System Outlook: Kazakhstan", is now
available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers
can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press
"In the banks' operating environment, lower oil prices
and the sharp economic downturn elsewhere in the CIS region will have
a gradual effect on bank performance, with a forecast GDP growth
rate of 1.5% in 2015, as lower state and corporate
spending affects households' repayment capacity, constrain
credit demand and hurt sectors such as trade, construction,
and real estate," says Semyon Isakov, a Moody's
Assistant Vice President - Analyst and author of the report.
"We also think it likely that the asset quality of currently performing
loans will deteriorate, although overall NPL ratios will likely
to trend downwards following a recent change in domestic tax law that
encourages banks to write off legacy NPLs. With regards to the
formation of new NPLs, decreased availability of consumer credit
following a period of rapid growth that outpaced incomes will mean that
the retail segment will be particularly pressured. Currency devaluation
will improve competitiveness of borrowers in relation to imports,
but overall it will certainly become harder to service foreign-currency
loans, which are mostly unhedged," adds Mr. Isakov.
Moody's says that banks' funding options will be challenged
by the increased dollarisation of the banking system, as the proportion
of customer deposits that are denominated in foreign currency (mostly
dollars) has grown to 55% from 37% since the beginning of
last year. As such, the banking system currently lacks local-currency
funding after the conversion of a large amount of tenge deposits.
At the same time, higher funding costs will mean that bank profitability
could come under pressure, and at the very least break-even,
assuming a tenge devaluation in line with Moody's central scenario
of 20% by the end of 2016.
Subscribers can access this report via this link:
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Moody's: Outlook stays negative for Kazakhstan's banking system
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