KAZAKHSTANI PRESIDENT ORDERS GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER LOW INTEREST LOANS FOR SMES
Astana. June 22. Interfax-Kazakhstan - The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered the government and National Bank to examine the possibility of giving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) loans at low interest rates through second-tier banks.
A relevant proposal was voiced at an Astana meeting devoted to entrepreneurship development by CEO of Khalyk Bank Umit Shayakhmetova.
"(...) we should find a way to issue long-term loans at minimum interest rates to small and medium business. For example, if government money was deposited with banks at 1-2%, the banks could lend it to business at 5-6%. In fact, the banks' margin could be limited to 4%," she said.
According to Shayakhmetova, the Damu fund issues loans to business at 8% on average, but including the banks' margin, the final interest rate for the enterprise is from 12% to 14%.
In his turn, Prime Minister Karim Massimov noted that such measures were more appropriate in crisis times. "We do not have enough liquidity to make this a full-time measure," he said.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered that the question be given careful consideration.
"Let us study all pros and cons seriously. If we have such a possibility, we need to do it. Examine the issue and report to me," he said.