* Net profit up 3.6 pct in 2013, slightly below target
* NPLs decrease, impairement charge rises
(Adds details, background)
ALMATY, March 25 Halyk Bank ,
Kazakhstan's second-largest lender by assets, said on Tuesday
its net profit rose by 3.5 percent to 72.4 billion tenge ($398
million) in 2013, slightly below its own forecast of 74 billion
Halyk, the most profitable of Kazakhstan's 38 banks, said
its assets grew by 4.1 percent last year, while net loans issued
to customers rose by 12.4 percent.
Non-performing loans (NPLs) remain a headache for the
oil-rich nation's banking sector, which was hit hard by the
global crisis due to its overexposure to external borrowing and
the bloated real estate market.
Hakyk said its 30-day and 90-day NPLs as of Dec. 31, 2013
decreased to 18.2 percent and 18.0 percent respectively from
19.7 percent and 18.1 percent on Sept. 30.
Net interest income before impairment charges increased by
17.1 percent to 106.6 billion tenge. Impairment charges rose by
69.4 percent in 2013, mainly due to a growing loan portfolio and
ageing NPLs, the bank said.
Last month Halyk bought the Kazakh subsidiary of HSBC
for $176 million in cash.
Halyk said on Tuesday it expected the transaction to be
completed during this year. It said it would run SB HSBC Bank
Kazakhstan JSC as a separate legal entity in the near term.
Halyk's largest single shareholder is Almex, a holding
company owned by President Nursultan Nazarbayev's middle
daughter, Dinara, and her entrepreneur husband Timur Kulibayev.
$1 = 182.02 tenge
(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Sophie Walker)