Kazakhstan’s banking sector is experiencing a large-scale redistribution of the market as ratings of banks continue to change. Some are losing their positions, while others are increasing their share. One bank to improve its ranking the fastest is Bank CenterCredit (BCC).
BCC places third among commercial banks. It has increased its assets by 50% and doubled in value compared to August 2021. The bank has the largest free-float among Kazakh index shares, with the number at 40.4%. Chairman of the Board of Directors Bakhytbek Baiseitov controls 48.47% of the shares.
The bank also ranked second in the growth of retail deposits and increased the deposits of legal entities twofold. The recent report for the first half of the year stated that the bank increased its profit 14-fold, after which the S&P Global Ratings International Agency upgraded the bank’s credit ratings to B+.
Bank CenterCredit has undergone major changes over the past three years, with a focus on developing its retail business and becoming the 1st choice bank for SMEs in Kazakhstan. As a result, the bank has focused on increasing its customer base by introducing technologically advanced products and decreasing the share of non-performing loans (NPLs), which enabled rapid growth.
The main event of the first half of this year was the sale of Alfa Bank Kazakhstan. To recall the history, Bank CenterCredit faced challenges in the form of negative allegations about the financial health of major shareholders while being a few steps away from being purchased and subsequently taken over.
However, in 2022, the Bank became the only real contender for the purchase of Alfa Bank Kazakhstan. This deal raised a lot of questions, especially on whether the bank was financially supported by the state. As it became known later, the deal was financed from the own funds of Bank CenterCredit, and additional liquidity was allocated to fulfill all obligations to depositors.
To date, sanctions imposed by OFAC have been lifted, and the integration of the two banks is underway, which will also subsequently strengthen Bank CenterCredit's position in terms of retail business, IT infrastructure, and technical solutions. According to information from an interview for the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE), the Bank is moving toward developing new areas of online services and looking for opportunities to promote products previously unavailable on the Kazakhstan market. It is likely that this will allow the Bank to gain a foothold in the top positions of Kazakhstan's banking market.