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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazkommertsbank Cuts Loan Rates

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazkommertsbank, Kazakhstan's largest bank, cut lending rates for home buyers purchasing property from some construction companies to bolster the country's building industry.

The lender signed accords with five construction companies, including Bazis A and BI Group, to provide their clients with loans at an annual interest rate of no more than 13.5 percent, the Almaty-based bank said in a statement Thursday. The bank, which raised the rate to as much as 18 percent on Sept. 13, said it was also in talks with Kuat, Kazakhstan's biggest builder, and six others.

Kazkommertsbank said it was aiming to help builders after Kazakh banks passed on higher wholesale financing rates to customers.

Trade and Industry Minister Galym Orazbakov said Sept. 18 that building companies controlling 80 percent of the market had stopped work at some sites.

"We are doing this to help the construction companies," Rustam Nabirov, the head of Kazkommertsbank's corporate relations department, said in an interview.

The economy of Kazakhstan expanded 10.6 percent to $80.4 billion last year, led in part by the building industry.