Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

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Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – September 30, 2011 0

Posted on September 30, 2011 by Alex

France to help Kazakhstan develop rare earths 0

Posted on September 29, 2011 by Alex

Reuters, Sept 20, 2011

(Reuters) – French research companies will help Kazakhstan develop its deposits of rare earth metals, the Central Asian nation’s state uranium miner Kazatomprom said on Tuesday.

Kazatomprom said it signed a strategic partnership deal with the Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres (BRGM), France’s public institution in earth science applications, and the European Company for Strategic Intelligence (CEIS).

They will cooperate in exploring the geology of rare earth metals, development of production technology, as well as feasibility studies for mining projects.

Kazakhstan, the world’s largest uranium miner, plans to join the race to supply rare earth metals to a global market squeezed by Chinese exports.

Kazakhstan is potentially highly prospective in rare earths, but has yet to define a detailed and guaranteed resource base.

(Reporting by Olga Orininskaya; Editing by Alison Birrane)

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=779&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

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 23, 2011 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by Alex

ENERGY:

Caspi Meruerty postpones drilling of exploration well
(SRI) – Caspi Meruerty Operating Company B.V. (CMOC) had to postpone the drilling of a planned exploration well at the Zhemchuzhina (Pearls) oil block in the Caspian Sea due to unavailability of suitable drilling equipment in the region, the Panorama business weekly reported on Friday.

KazMunaiGas net income grows 70% in first half
(SRI) – Kazakh national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas said its first-half net income increased 70% from a year earlier to KZT246.2 billion ($1.7 billion), the company said in a statement on Monday.

Kazatomprom to sharply increase uranium pellets exports to China
(SRI) – Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s state owned uranium miner, plans to increase 100-fold its sales of uranium pellets to China, as the country aims to nearly triple the number of nuclear power plants it operates, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Kazakhstan’s financial sector problems drag on
(bne) – Astana Finance is struggling to reach a debt restructuring deal with creditors after Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna pulled the plug on extra financing for the troubled firm.

Kazakhstan’s wheat crop expected at 14.5 million tonnes
(SRI) – Kazakhstan expects to harvest 14.5 million tonnes of wheat this year, out of a total projected grain crop of 18-18.9 million tonnes, Interfax reported on Monday, citing Agriculture Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov.

Kazakhstan to spend KZT1.5 trillion ($10.2 billion) on industrialization projects in 2011 (Interax)

Fitch rates Kazakhstan’s KazExportAstyk ‘B’; Rating Watch Negative (SRI)

Labor unrest denting Astana’s economic image (EurasiaNet)

Indicators – August 22, 2011 (Reuters)

POLITICS:

CEC confirms Senate election results (Interfax)

REGIONAL:

Biden offers U.S. support for democratic Mongolia (Reuters)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/08/23/

 

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – July 22, 2011 0

Posted on July 22, 2011 by KazCham

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – June 22, 2011 0

Posted on June 21, 2011 by KazCham

HEADLINES:

BTA Bank says has cash to meet June bond payment
(SRI) – BTA Bank, Kazakhstan’s third-largest bank by assets, said it had sufficient liquidity to meet an upcoming bond coupon payment of $166 million without affecting its day-to-day operations.

BTA seeks U.K. prison terms for Ablyazov accomplices
(SRI) – BTA Bank, Kazakhstan’s third largest lender, is seeking U.K. prison terms for two alleged accomplices of the bank’s fugitive former chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

ENERGY:

Kazatomprom, Areva joint venture to boost uranium output in 2012
(SRI) – KATCO, a joint venture between French nuclear group Areva and Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom, plans to raise its annual uranium production to 4,000 tonnes in 2012, the head of the venture said on Tuesday.

CPC expansion project to officially launch on July 1 (SRI)

Production resumes in Kazakhstan – Caspian Energy (Marketwire)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Kazakh MinFin working on SCO Development Bank concept – deputy minister (SRI)

Results of 2011 sowing season (AgriMarket.Info)

China to set up free trade zones with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (RIA Novosti)

Indicators – June 21, 2011 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

Kazakhmys to start trading in Hong Kong on June 29 (SRI)

Polymetal completes Varvarinskoye audit (SRI)

POLITICS:

The rocky road of Kazakhstan’s Afghanistan deployment (EurasiaNet)

SOCIETY:

Polygamy a fact of life in Kazakhstan (RFE/RL)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/06/22/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-june-22-2011/

 

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – March 14, 2011 0

Posted on March 14, 2011 by KazCham

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/03/14/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-march-14-2011/

ENERGY:

KMG EP to buy 50% stake in Kazakh oil block
(SRI) – KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG EP) announced on Friday it will plans to acquire a 50% stake in Ural Group Ltd, which owns the exploration license for the Fedorovskiy oil and gas block near the city of Uralsk in northwestern Kazakhstan, for $149.1 million.

KazMunaiGas asks banks for $1-billion loan
(Reuters) – Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas has asked international banks to submit proposals for a $1 billion five-year unsecured loan, banking sources said on Friday.

Kazatomprom to construct solar panel plant
(SRI) – Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s national uranium miner, plans to spend KZT34 billion ($233 million) to build a solar-batteries plant in Astana.

Interview transcript with David Robson, President and CEO of Tethys Petroleum (Proactive Investors)

AES hoping for amicable settlement of conflict over investment commitments (Interfax)

KMG expects feasibility study for modernization of Shymkent refinery to be ready in Q2 (Interfax)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Kazakhstan to ramp up economic relations with Turkey (SRI)

Long-term credit ratings for Kazakhstan banks (Reuters)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates March 12-14, 2011 (Kazakhstan Today)

Indicators – March 11, 2011 (Reuters)

POLITICS:

Astana’s rights record in the spotlight (EurasiaNet)

Kazakhstan election boycott activists assaulted, say attack is politically motivated (AP)

SOCIETY:

Goga Ashkenazi: By royal ascent (Independent)

Kazakh president’s grandson joins Astana football team (Telegraph)

REGIONAL:

Police break up opposition rally in Azerbaijan (Reuters)

U.S. cites uprisings in Middle East as it urges democratic reform in Central Asia (AP)

A Year of Nuclear Big Bangs 0

Posted on February 04, 2011 by KazCham

With the world’s second largest deposits of Uranium, Kazakhstan’s nuclear potential is clear. Opportunities abound for foreign investors. Sheridan Prasso reports

WHEN IT COMES to big bangs, the past year on the nuclear front has been a spectacular one for Kazakhstan. The country learned in January that it had officially become the largest producer of uranium in the world – a milestone it had been gearing up to achieve for more than a decade. Next, the state uranium mining and nuclear engineering agency Kazatomprom reported a net profit of 51.8 billion tenge ($352 million) for 2009 -a 32 percent increase over 2008.

Then in April, Kazakhstan was lauded on the international stage by U.S. President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Summit of World Leaders in Washington, D.C. The praise was twofold: for President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s offer to provide an International Fuel Bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and for having become the first leader to renounce the possession and use of nuclear weapons in 1995 and sending 1,400 warheads to Russia for destruction. Obama called Nazarbayev “one of the model leaders in the world” on the issues of non-proliferation and nuclear safety. “We could not have this summit without his presence,” Obama said.

But even the most impressive of pyrotechnic displays occurs amidst a cloud of haze – in this case corruption charges against Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the deposed president of Kazatomprom. Convicted of bribe-taking and embezzling $670,000 worth of company property from Kazatomprom’s office in Vienna, Dzhakishev was sentenced in March to 14 years in prison after a closed, two-month trial in Astana.

Dzhakishev had been one of the country’s rising-star businessmen, an example of its new-generation educated elite. In his leaked interrogation on YouTube, which could be seen in Kazakhstan, viewers saw him blame Russian retaliation for being edged out of a deal as the dark hand behind the charges. His supporters claimed his arrest was politically motivated as well – an assertion resolutely denied by his replacement,

Vladimir Shkolnik, a trusted Nazarbayev lieutenant. “He was dismissed because he made some transactions in which some [assets] were moved out of state control to private control,” Shkolnik says. Simple as that. “It is not morally correct to use [leaks via] the Internet as a defense.”

Now, says Shkolnik, there should be no concerns about the integrity of Kazatomprom as the IAEA makes its long-awaited decision on whether to choose Kazakhstan or another country as a safe haven for nuclear fuel – a decision that could finally come in 2010. “It should be noted that Kazakhstan has an advanced export control system,” he says, “and the infrastructure and legal framework to decide on issues of licensing, storage, transportation and export of nuclear materials that would ensure complete transparency of nuclear material transfers and facility operation, which will be an important factor for safeguards application and confidence on the part of business partners.”

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s nuclear business has been growing exponentially. With the world’s second-largest deposits of uranium, roughly 20 percent of global reserves, Kazakhstan had a lot of motivation to develop better means of uranium extraction and new markets in which to sell its abundant resource for peaceful, power-generation purposes.

In 2009, Kazakhstan produced 14,000 tons of uranium, surpassing Canada and Australia, which each mine about 10,000 tons annually. That’s 63 percent higher than in 2008. Kazatomprom and its numerous foreign partners plan to increase production to more than 18,000 tons this year.

The reason is that Kazakhstan has been rapidly increasing both its number of uranium mines and its capacity at existing ones, with 21 mines now in operation. The Khorassan-1 mine in Kyzlorda, for example, which took three years to get off the ground, is expected to double output this year to 205 tons. Shortages of sulfuric acid used in extraction, which had limited production in the past, are now no longer an issue with the ramping up of new acid plants.

A main priority is moving away from the long­time reliance on Russia for processing uranium into fuel rods and pellets. Plans to build a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Angarsk, Russia with Russia’s Rosatom agency have been long delayed. Joint plans with Rosatom to build a nuclear power station in Aktau have been delayed as well.

So the Kazakh government is looking to other foreign investors. “Many companies would like to increase their cooperation, and we are open to

would like to work with companies that can share their technology and markets with us, in powders, pellets and fuel assemblies. The priority is the finished product.”

With 53 nuclear energy plants now under construction around the world and the possibility of 500 by 2030, Kazakhstan is well positioned. Kazatomprom has agreed to be the main supplier of uranium to China, which has 20 plants under construction, including four by Westinghouse – the Japanese-controlled, U.S.-based company in which Kazatomprom owns 10 percent. Separately, an agreement by Kazatomprom with China National Nuclear Corp. and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. in 2008 means equity stakes in three more Chinese nuclear power plants in exchange for shares in three Kazakh mines by the Chinese. For that reason, Kazatomprom in 2009 opened an office in Beijing.

Currently, Kazatomprom says it is negotiating a joint venture with Westinghouse to manufacture fuel assemblies for AP1000 reactors in China and India, and pellet supply for Japan’s reactors. “The goal is to become a regional center of fuel production for China, India and Japan,” says Shkolnik.

Kazakhstan plans to boost its share of the Japanese uranium market to 40 percent from the current 4 percent. On March 2, Japan signed a civil nuclear agreement giving it access to stable supplies of Kazakh uranium in exchange for nuclear technology. Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co., trading house Sumitomo Corp. and Tokyo-based Nuclear Fuel Industries had signed an accord with Kazatomprom back in 2007 on converting uranium into components of nuclear fuel rods.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Uranium One bought 50 percent of the Karatau Uranium Mine from Russian state-owned uranium miner Atomredmetzoloto. The remaining interest in the mine is held by Kazatomprom, which also holds joint venture interests in Uranium One’s other Kazakh mines and projects. ?

Sheridan Prasso, editor of Invest in Kazakhstan, is an associate fellow at the Asia Society in New York and a contributing editor at FORTUNE magazine.

Source: Invest in Kazakhstan 2010

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 10, 2010 0

Posted on August 10, 2010 by KazCham

HEADLINES:

Max Petroleum shares soar on new oil find
(SRI) – Max Petroleum, a Kazakhstan-focused oil junior, said it had struck oil oil at a greater depth, potentially extending its existing Zhana Makat oil field in western Kazakhstan.

Unicredit not expecting further writedowns of ATF Bank
(SRI) -UniCredit does not plan to further write down the value ATF Bank, after it marked down the value of its Kazakh subsidiary by more than half a billion euros in less than a year, the head of its Austrian arm said last week.

Eurasian Bank reports $9.5 million net loss in H1
(SRI) – Eurasian Bank reported last week a net loss of KZT1.4 billion ($9.5 million) in the first half of 2010, compared to a net profit of KZT158.9 million ($1.58 million) in the same period last year.

ENERGY:

Kazatomprom’s uranium output continues to rise in H1 2010
(SRI) – Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s national uranium company, said it produced 8,452 tonnes of uranium in the first six months of 2010, a 42% increase compared to the same period in 2009.

Uranium One shares jump on narrower loss, forecast (Reuters)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Central bank reports current account surplus of $5.7 billion in H1 (SRI)

Moody’s changes outlook on Kazkommertsbank’s financial strength rating to stable from negative (Moody’s)

Kazakhstan imposes no restrictions on grain exports (Itar-Tass)

Russia to become Kazakhstan’s main grain export destination – Agricultural Ministry (Interfax)

Share of Kazakhstan-produced goods in procurement by state authorities exceeded 55% in H1 (Interfax)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates August 10, 2010 (Kazinform)

METALS AND MINING:

Bitter row knocks sheen off Kazakh gold company (EurasiaNet)

ArcelorMittal Temirtau to make own billet (Steel Business Briefing)

Kazatomprom and Toshiba to establish rare metals production JV by year-end (Interfax)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/08/10/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-august-10-2010/

Kazatomprom sets Eurobond yield guidance to 6.75 percent 0

Posted on May 21, 2010 by KazCham

(SRI) – Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s national uranium miner, has set yield guidance on a $500 million five-year bond to 6.75 percent, Cbonds.info reported on Thursday.

Lead managers for the issue are are BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Halyk Finance.

Fitch Ratings has assigned Kazatomprom’s proposed notes an expected senior unsecured rating of BBB-.

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/05/13/kazatomprom-sets-eurobond-yield-guidance-to-675-percent/



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