Publication: Financial Sector Assessment Program Update : Republic of Kazakhstan - Bank Profitability and Competition
International Monetary Fund
The purpose of this note is to explore the reasons for a comparatively high interest rate spread in Kazakhstan in the context of competition in the banking sector. In spite of significant gains in efficiency made in recent years, operational costs and provisioning for loan losses remain high compared to some other economies. Profitability of the aggregate banking system has increased in the face of lower interest spreads. A highly concentrated banking system could be an indicator of lack of competition, but it needs to be assessed with contestability conditions (openness to entry of banks). The lack of license applications since 2001 raises questions about the attractiveness of entry by new banks. Competitive and market contestability conditions will be further enhanced with the authorities' continuation of strong macroeconomic and financial policies, improvements in financial sector regulation and enforcement thus continuing the achievements during the last five years. Administrative measures to control interest rates (for instance, the ceiling on deposit rates introduced by the Deposit Insurance Fund and tax incentives) only distort financial intermediation, and are likely to be counterproductive.
“International Monetary Fund; World Bank. 2004. Financial Sector Assessment Program Update : Republic of Kazakhstan - Bank Profitability and Competition. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/16064 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”