Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

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Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – November 8, 2011 0

Posted on November 08, 2011 by Alex

Kazakhstan’s most influential businessmen 1

Posted on October 17, 2011 by Alex

Timur Kulibayev, head of the state-owned holding Samruk-Kazyna and son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, was named the most influential Kazakh businessman in a ranking published  this month by Forbes Kazakhstan, a local edition of the business magazine.  Kulibayev, together with his wife Dinara Kulibayeva, owns Almex, a conglomerate with interest in banking, construction, mining, and other  sectors.  Kulibayev also heads the Kazenergy Association, an influential oil and gas lobbying group, and is said to hold significant interests in Kazakh energy sector.

Bulat Utemuratov, an influential advisor  to Nazarbayev, was second on Forbes’ ranking.  Utemuratov sold his stake in ATF Bank, Kazakhstan’s fifth largest bank, to the Italian banking group Unicredit at the top of the market in 2007 for $2.2 billion.

Through various investment vehicles he is involved in banking, metals and mining, real estate and telecommunications. Third on the list is Patokh Khodiev, one of the three founders and largest shareholders in the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), the world’s largest ferroalloys producer.  Khodiev, who holds  Belgian citizenship, controls various other mining and financial services assets, together with his two partners – Alexander Mashkevich and Adilzhan Ibragimov.

Mashkevich, an Israeli citizen and the most well-known of the trio of ENRC founders, ranks fourth, according to Forbes. Vladimir Kim, the chairman of Kazakhmys, Kazakhstan’s biggest copper miner, took fifth place in the ranking.  Earlier this year, the U.S. edition of the Forbes magazine estimated Kim’s net worth at $4.7 billion, making him Kazakhstan’s richest man.

Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, who owns Kazakhstan’s largest steel mill, ArcelorMittal Temirtau, was sixth on the list, followed by the last of the ENRC trio,  Ibragimov.  Chairman of Bank CenterCredit Bakhytbek Baiseitov was ranked eighth while Nurzhan Subkhanberdin, the controlling shareholder of Kazakhstan’s largest bank Kazkommertsbank, was ninth.  Nurlan Smagulov, head of the industrial conglomerate Astana Group, rounded out the top ten.

SOURCE: SRI, Kazakhstan Daily news Brief, October 17, 2011

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – September 22, 2011 0

Posted on September 22, 2011 by Alex

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – September 2, 2011 0

Posted on September 03, 2011 by Alex

ENERGY:

Kazatomprom, Cameco joint venture to increase uranium production
(SRI) – Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium miner and Canada’s top uranium producer Cameco Corp signed an agreement to increase uranium production at the Inkai LLP joint venture by a third to 5.2 million pounds from 3.9 million pounds, the Canadian company said in a statement.

Strikes hit production at Karazhanbasmunai (SRI)

Foster Wheeler gets Atyrau Refinery upgrade contract (SRI)

KazTransGas, Kolon Corporation to build 100 natural gas filling stations in Kazakhstan (SRI)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

ATF Bank losses narrow in first half (SRI)

Inflation slows to 0.3% in August (SRI)

KASE Index rises by 3.08% on Thursday (SRI)

Development Bank of Kazakhstan lends $150 million to Kazakh grain exporter (SRI)

Home Credit Bank net income increases more than twofold in H1 (SRI)

Kazakhstan harvested grains throughout 13% of the areas (AgriMarket.Info)

Indicators – September 1, 2011 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

Hambledon Mining reveals more significant drill results from Sekisovskoye (Proactive Investors)

Orsu Metals completes feasibility study drilling program (Marketwire)

POLITICS AND SECURITY:

Kazakhstan to toughen fight against corruption and reconsider humanitarian criminal code(Trend)

SOCIETY:

Kazakh head wants tougher laws to counter extremism
(Reuters) – The spread of religious extremism threatens stability in mainly Muslim Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Thursday, urging parliament to adopt tougher laws on migration and religious activity.

Religious organizations to be re-registered in Kazakhstan (Interfax)

REGIONAL:

South Korea deepens role in Central Asia (Asia Times)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/09/02/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-september-2-2011/

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 25, 2011 0

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Alex

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – April 27, 2011 0

Posted on April 27, 2011 by KazCham

ENERGY:

Former Deputy Minister named head of MangistauMunaiGas
(SRI) – Asset Magauov, former Deputy Minister of Oil and Gas, has been appointed the new head of MangistauMunaiGas, a subsidiary of Kazakhstan’s national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

BTA wrote off $3.3 billion in last 12 months
(SRI) – BTA Bank, Kazakhstan’s third-largest by assets, wrote off KZT481 billion ($3.3 billion) of loans in the 12 months to April 1, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Sberbank aims to triple investment in Kazakhstan
(Reuters) – Sberbank’s Kazakh unit aims to grow net income this year by carving a larger niche in the local market and together with its Russian parent plans to boost investment in the country to almost $1 billion.

Kazakhstan said to seek sale of Alliance Bank stake to EBRD after bailout
(Bloomberg) – Kazakhstan wants to sell a stake in Alliance Bank to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), potentially making it the first of the Kazakh banks that defaulted during the financial crisis to attract an international investor, said three people familiar with talks.

Kazakhstan’s ATF Bank plans $276-million stock issue
(Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s ATF Bank , majority owned by Italian bank UniCredit SpA , plans to raise $276 million by issuing 7.66% of its ordinary shares.

EBRD extends trade finance guarantee facility to VTB Kazakhstan
(SRI) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has extended a $20-million trade finance guarantee facility to VTB Kazakhstan.

Halyk Bank allocates $37.8 million for 2010 dividend
(SRI) – Halyk Bank, Kazakhstan’s second largest lender by assets, said on Tuesday it would allocate KZT5.5 billion ($37.8 million) from its 2010 net profit to pay dividends on its preferred shares.

Kazakh 2011 GDP growth may accelerate to 7% – Kelimbetov (Reuters)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates April 27, 2011 (Kazakhstan Today)

Indicators – April 26, 2011 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

KazakhGold reduces net loss by 60% in 2010
(SRI) – KazakhGold, the Kazakhstan-focused subsidiary of Russian miner Polyus Gold, reported a net loss of $57.3 million in 2010, compared with a loss of $143.7 million in 2009.

SOCIETY:

High rollers hit Kaz Vegas, a far cry from Las Vegas (EurasiaNet)

REGIONAL:

Energy-rich Central Asia, Gulf states plan new rail route (Reuters)

Disappointed by West, Uzbekistan turns to China (AFP)

Turkmen president hosts horse beauty contest (AFP)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/04/27/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-april-27-2011/

Back to Growth 0

Posted on January 05, 2011 by KazCham

As Kazakhstan emerges from the economic slowdown, the country is moving from strength to strength and is working to diversify and industrialize its economy. Clare Nuttall reports

THE UPTURN IN commodity prices in late 2009 was a considerable boost for the Kazakh economy, immediately creating confidence that the crisis was over. With the restructuring of debt at two top banks, the foundations are now being laid for future growth.

This optimism was vindicated in the first quarter of 2010, when according to government data, GDP grew by 7.1 percent year-on-year. “The major economic figures are positive,” says Grigori Marchenko, governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the central bank.

Kazakhstan has maintained a high level of reserves thanks to the rise in oil prices. As of February 2010, the central bank’s net reserves were more than $27.5 billion, and the National Fund’s reserves more than $25.2 billion – totaling $52.7 billion. This was somewhat higher than the pre-crisis level of $47 billion despite the use of National Fund money to support the economy during late 2008 and 2009. In addition to injecting liquidity into the top four banks, the Kazakh government, through the Samruk-Kazyna state welfare fund, also provided a multi-billion dollar support package. Directed at sectors including real estate, agriculture and infrastructure, the package helped to shore up the economy and keep unemployment under control during the first three quarters of 2009.

The problems in Kazakhstan’s banking sector are now close to resolution, with an agreement on the restructuring of Alliance Bank’s debt already signed. The creditors of Kazakhstan’s largest defaulter, BTA Bank, were due to restructure the bank’s $10 billion of debt over the summer. It is expected to remove much of the uncertainty that plagued the market through 2009.

The government’s focus is now on encouraging banks to start lending again, in order to channel funds into the real economy. The country’s top banks including Halyk Bank, Bank CenterCredit, and ATF Bank have substantial liquidity but so far have been cautious about lending. “The key objective for 2010 is to motivate banks to lend again,” says Marchenko.

So far the economic recovery has been largely linked to higher commodity prices. In addition to oil and gas, Kazakhstan has also made progress with production of other commodities. It overtook Australia and Canada to become the world’s largest uranium producer in 2009, and data for the first

quarter of this year showed a 63 percent rise in uranium production. The country’s largest diversified mining companies ENRC and Kazakhmys also reported an increase, and are pushing ahead with major investment projects.

Within the oil and gas sector, the opening of two pipelines at the end of 2009 open up the potential for exports to China. The Kenkiyak-Kumkol oil pipeline links existing pipelines in Kazakhstan, making it possible to export oil from west Kazakh oilfields to China, as well as to deliver oil to South Kazakhstan. The Central Asia-China gas pipeline, which opened in December 2009, runs from Turkmenistan via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China.

While there have been some cutbacks to investment in the hydrocarbons sector, international investors have been under considerable pressure to keep up with their investment commitments. The massive offshore Kashagan development is due to start commercial production in 2012 and provide a major boost for the Kazakh economy.

The government has already given considerable thought to how to efficiently channel revenues from Kashagan into the wider economy. On January 21, President Nursultan Nazarbayev outlined plans to diversify and industrialize the economy in his annual state of the nation address, which set out the country’s development aims for the next decade.

“We need, first, to prepare the economy for the post-crisis development, then to achieve steady growth of the economy through forced industrialization and infrastructure development,” Nazarbayev said in his address.

“Thirdly, to actively invest in the future to achieve competitiveness of our human capital, fourthly, to provide Kazakhstani citizens with quality social infrastructure, housing and utilities. Fifthly, we must strengthen international cooperation, increase our national security, and further develop international relations.”

Some $8 billion is due to be transferred each year from the Nation Fund to the budget, with most of the money due to be used for industrialization programs; 162 projects, with a total cost of 6.5 trillion tenge, have been identified. The main aims include the upgrade of Kazakhstan’s existing petrochemicals plants, the construction of a new gas processing plant, and the completion of new power stations at Balkhash, Moinak and Ekibastuz. Development targets for the processing, agriculture, industry, energy and transport sectors have also been set.

“In the past there have been various diversification programs that for one reason or another did not succeed. The newly announced program is more promising,” says Michael Weinstein, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s country director for Kazakhstan. “The priority sectors Nazarbayev has selected are the right ones. Rather than looking at high-tech sectors, the government is targeting sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petrochemicals, metals, construction materials and fertilizers – the things the country needs.”

In addition to state funding, the government also hopes to attract foreign investment for key projects. The country already has a long-term goal of entering the top 50 countries on the World Bank’s Doing Business index (in 2010 it was in 63rd place). There are also specific plans to cut the cost of starting a business by 30 percent in the 2010 financial year.

Kazakhstan is in discussions with around 70 companies presently looking to sign new deals in the country, according to Timur Nurashev, chairman of the investment committee within the Ministry of Industry. “There are large and medium-sized companies, in chemicals, tourism, food production, machinery, metallurgy, light manufacturing and consumer products, who are really interested in investing,” he says. “They are American, Turkish, Korean, European and Chinese.”

A new law on special economic zones (SEZs) is currently being drawn up and is due to be considered by the Kazakh parliament within the next six months. A new SEZ for metallurgy may be built in the northern city of Pavlodar, and a second on the Chinese border.

In January, Kazakhstan became a founding member of the Customs Union, also comprising Russia and Belarus. It is hoped this will encourage investment to international firms planning use the country as a base for the entire common market. The government is also planning to continue with negotiations to enter the World Trade Organization.

“Kazakhstan is a good platform for companies to enter the Russian market,” says Nurashev. “We are positioning Kazakhstan not only as a market of 16 million, but 170 million with Russia and Belarus. It is also a gateway to the Central Asian region.” ?

Clare Nuttall is an Almaty-based correspondent for Business New Europe.

SOURCE: Invest in Kazakhstan 2010.

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – December 8, 2010 0

Posted on December 08, 2010 by KazCham

HEADLINES:

Central bank to support managed float for tenge in 2011
(SRI) – The National Bank of Kazakhstan would support the return of the tenge currency to a managed float next year and the removal of its current trading corridor, the central bank’s chairman, Grigoriy Marchenko, said on Tuesday.

First Quantum sues ENRC over Congolese mining project
(SRI) – Canada-based First Quantum Minerals Ltd. on Friday launched a $2-billion lawsuit against Kazakhstan’s Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC), related to a disputed purchase of a copper and cobalt project in the Congo, wire services reported.

Kashagan to begin commercial production in 2012 – Mynbayev (SRI)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Kazakhstan’s foreign reserves decrease 0.6% in November (SRI)

ATF Bank reports $175-million loss in Jan-Sep (SRI)

Kazakh government approves documents on Common Economic Space (Itar-Tass)

Kazakh president approves state budget for 2011-2013 (Interfax)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates December 8, 2010 (Kazakhstan Today)

Indicators – December 7, 2010 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

Renaissance Capital sues ENRC subsidiary Camec over $14 million deal advice fee (Bloomberg)

Orsu Metals reports progress on Karchiga project feasibility study (Marketwire)

SOCIETY:

Kazakhstan’s president for life asks for more life (CBS News)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/12/08/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-december-8-2010/

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – October 25, 2010 0

Posted on October 25, 2010 by KazCham

HEADLINES:

KazMunaiGas EP discovers oil in western Kazakhstan
(SRI) – KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG EP), the upstream-focused subsidiary of the Kazakh national oil company, said on Friday it had struck oil at the Liman Block in western Kazakhstan.

Moody’s downgrades debt rating of four Kazakh banks
(SRI) – Moody’s, the credit rating agency, downgraded last week the long-term senior unsecured and subordinated debt ratings of Kazkommertsbank, Halyk Bank, Bank CenterCredit (BCC), and Alliance Bank.

ATF Bank appoints new CEO
(SRI) – ATF Bank, a subsidiary of Italian Unicredit Group and Kazakhstan’s fifth largest bank, named Romeo Collina the new chief executive officer last week replacing Alexander Picker.

ENERGY:

Kelimbetov on KazMunaiGas IPO – video (Bloomberg)

Kazakh oil workers strike over detained union activist (RFE/RL)

World Petroleum Council will hold next meeting in Astana in 2012 (Interfax)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Kazakhstan seeks to strengthen ties with EU (Dow Jones)

Almaty subway line tested for first time (RFE/RL)

Agency for Local Content Development complains subsoil users don’t buy enough products offered by domestic light industry (Interfax)

Indicators – October 22, 2010 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

KazakhGold must end rows before Polyus deal – government (Reuters)

POLITICS:

Kazakh opposition leader announces plan to run for presidency (RFE/RL)

REGIONAL:

Russia may join pipeline through Taliban area (AFP)

Hundreds rally in Kyrgyzstan against security boss (AP)

Turkmenistan keen to boost gas exports to Russia – president (AFP)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/10/25/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-october-25-2010/

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 11, 2010 0

Posted on August 11, 2010 by KazCham

HEADLINES:

Alliance posts $2 billion H1 profit on restructuring
(SRI) – Alliance Bank, one of Kazakhstan’s recently restructured banks, posted a net profit of KZT298.9 billion ($2 billion) in the first half of 2010, mainly driven by income resulting from its debt restructuring.

Kazakh mining association opposes export tariffs
(SRI) – The Kazakhstan Association of Mining and Metallurgic Enterprises (AMME) has criticized the introduction of a minerals export tax and said that a profit-based tax would be preferable.

ATF Bank reports $120 million H1 loss
(SRI) – ATF Bank, Kazakhstan’s fourth-largest bank, posted a net loss of KZT17.6 billion ($120 million) in the first six months of 2010, compared to a net profit of KZT3.2 billion ($22 million) in the same period of 2009.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Moody’s assigns B3 to subordinated bonds of Kazinvestbank; stable outlook (Moody’s)

Accounts Committee critical of Air Astana performance (Interfax)

Mineral resource companies to start using electronic procurement system from October 1 (Interfax)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates August 11, 2010 (Kazakhstan Today)

METALS AND MINING:

Kazakhaltyn may stop work from August 16 over frozen accounts (RIA Novosti)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/08/11/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-august-11-2010/



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