Korean banks on economic delegation to Kazakhstan announce series of cooperation initiatives

Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) President Yoon Hee-sung, second from left, poses with officials after signing an MOU with the Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK), at a hotel in Astana, Kazakhstan, Wednesday. From left, Korean Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun, Yoon, DBK Chairman Marat Yelibayev, and Kazakh Industry and Construction Minister Kanat Sharlapaev. Courtesy of Eximbank

Korean banks that participated in the economic delegation of President Yoon Suk Yeol‘s weeklong trip to Central Asia are announcing a series of cooperation initiatives.

On Thursday, BNK Financial Group announced that its subsidiary, BNK Finance Kazakhstan, received preliminary approval for a banking license from the Kazakh government. The group said that this is the first time in 15 years that the Kazakh government has granted a banking license to a foreign financial institution.

The group plans to spend about a year preparing for final approval and conducting market research on the Kazakh banking sector. It aims to develop business strategies specializing in small- and medium-sized enterprise loans, leveraging their domestic strength in this area.

Shinhan Bank, the only commercial bank that joined the delegation, announced that it has forged several business cooperations in Kazakhstan as well. Shinhan was the first among Korean banks to establish a local subsidiary there in 2008.

During the visit, the bank signed an MOU with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to expand financial support in Kazakhstan. 추천 The main areas of collaboration include providing financial support to promising local companies, promoting project financing and exploring trade finance opportunities.

Additionally, through an MOU with CU Central Asia and Shin-Line, it will provide financial solutions for the expansion of the convenience store business in the country.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) also played a role in expanding economic policy by signing an MOU with the Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) that finances around $50 billion.

The cooperation involves Eximbank lending funds to DBK, which then provides loans to local companies with business relationships with Korean firms. This indirect financing product is expected to support major projects in Kazakhstan involving Korean companies.

Based on its abundant energy and mineral resources, Kazakhstan is continuously strengthening economic cooperation with Korea. It has the largest trading volume with Korea among the Central Asian countries.

A report written by KOTRA in 2023 evaluated that Kazakhstan has a favorable environment for Korean companies to expand, noting its active attraction of investments in the financial industry since the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Since June 10, President Yoon Suk Yeol has been visiting Central Asian nations, including Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

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