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Kazakhstan's best bank for SMEs 2022: ForteBank

ForteBank

ForteBank is doing more than its fair share of helping Kazakhstan to navigate a difficult global environment.

As tough economic conditions in neighbouring China and Russia put pressure on the financial industry and Kazakhstan’s economy, Forte – which describes itself as a modern, high-tech universal bank – has emerged as a pillar of financial stability in the country.

The international ratings agencies certainly agree.

In September 2022, Fitch Ratings upgraded Forte’s long-term foreign and local-currency issuer default ratings to BB- from B+, and did the same for Forte’s viability rating.

A couple of months earlier, in July, S&P Global Ratings changed Forte’s long-term credit rating to BB- from B+ with a stable outlook, citing the bank’s business diversification, healthy asset quality and hints of stabilizing economic conditions nationally. Moody’s had already upgraded Forte’s long‐term deposit rating to Ba2 from Ba3 in December 2021.

It is hard to disagree with any of these moves: they are good news for Bekzhan Pirmatov, who joined the bank in 2020 as deputy CEO and took over at the helm as chief executive in July 2022.

Forte