BTA Bank, the second-largest bank in Kazakhstan, sought bankruptcy protection in the United States. It filed for protection under Chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan. Non-U.S. companies use Chapter 15 to block creditors who want to file lawsuits or tie up assets in the United States. The bank is 75% state-owned and controls 18% of banking assets in Kazakhstan. The bank is also trying to restructure its $11.6 billion debt at home.