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Halyk Bank has signed an agreement to acquire part of loans worth $737.06m (KZT330bn) issued by Sberbank Kazakhstan, the local arm of Russia’s largest bank.

The assets being purchased are part of Sberbank Kazakhstan’s loan portfolio of retail business customers.

They include auto loans issued under the Development Bank of Kazakhstan’s concessional lending programme, unsecured loans, and mortgage loans.

Sberbank Kazakhstan head Yeldar Tenizbaev stated that for customers, the deal is a ‘painless’ transition to another bank, for Halyk Bank, this will help them in increasing its loan portfolio.

For Sberbank Kazakhstan, the sale frees up additional liquidity, which will be used to meet clients’ demands, Tenizbaev added.

As of 1 April 2022, Sberbank Kazakhstan’s consumer loan stood at around $2.4bn (KZT1.1 trillion).

The announcement comes as the Russian government-backed Sberbank faces new sanctions from the US and its NATO allies, in response to Moscow’s continued aggression toward Ukraine.

The new full blocking sanctions imposed by the US apply to 42 subsidiaries of Sberbank as well, including the one in Kazakhstan.

Alfa-Bank, which is believed to be one of the top private players in the Russian banking space, along with its six subsidiaries is also subject to the new batch of sanctions.

Earlier this week, Alfa-Bank Kazakhstan managing director Andrey Timchenko said that the bank is looking for a new shareholder, a TASS report said.

Timchenko said the bank is in talks with several investors and a consensus could be reached in a few