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Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed an agreement for a US dollar-denominated export credit line totalling US$30mn with Bank TuranAlem (BTA), the commercial bank in Kazakhstan. The credit line was cofinanced with UFJ Bank Ltd.

Export credit line is a form of export financing in which a loan is extended to an importer through a financial institution in the importer’s country. It finances primarily the purchase of equipment exported from Japan.

This export credit line will provide funds for Kazakh firms via BTA to finance the import of machinery and equipment from Japanese firms.

Kazakhstan has turned around from economic stagnation in the period immediately following independence from the collapse of former Soviet Union in 1991 and has registered a robust growth in recent years by developing natural resources, including abundant oil and natural gas reserves, and by taking steps to promote a market economy. The economy thus grew 9.5% in 2002. It is against this backdrop that Japanese firms are increasingly focusing their attention on this country as an export and investment destination. JBIC provided this facility in response to many requests received from Japanese businesses for creating an export credit line for a private-sector bank in Kazakhstan.

BTA is one of the main private commercial banks in terms of assets in the country and has a broad client base, extending loans to a wide range of domestic firms. It is expected that this facility will contribute to increasing exports of Japanese firms.