Kazakhstan’s Kazkommertsbank (KKB) has received a US$30mn four-year loan from Citigroup secured by the guarantee of Opic. This loan was arranged and provided by Citigroup, as part of the CIS countries lending programme signed between Citigroup and Opic, at the rate of six-month Libor + 1.7% per year with the purpose of further financing by Kazkommertsbank of small and medium-sized businesses in Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

Kazkommertsbank became the first commercial private bank in Central Asia to be extended a loan under the guarantee of Opic, says Andrey Timchenko, managing director of KKB.

“Opic is a new and very important institutional partner for Kazakhstan. This transaction reflects the confidence not only of US private investors but also, primarily, the US government,” adds Timchenko.

KKB will be able to finance (for up to four years) SME investment and infrastructure projects which should not necessarily be tied to export of goods and services from the US. As Kazkommertsbank has a subsidiary in Kyrgyzstan and a strategic partner Moskommertsbank in Russia, the funds will also be utilised for financing of SME projects in these countries.