Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – September 6, 2011 0

Posted on September 06, 2011 by Alex

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 25, 2011 0

Posted on August 25, 2011 by Alex

Kazakhstan could offer investors mining riches 0

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Alex

Fiona Bond,  Interactive Investor, August 12, 2011

Think of Kazakhstan and thoughts might immediately turn to Borat. But you would be mistaken for thinking Sacha Baron Cohen’s character is the biggest export the country has to offer.

For this country, nestled deep between Russia and China, boasts a wealth of natural minerals which it is absolutely intent on exploiting.

Arguably most famous for its Caspian oil fields, this is set to change with an influx of miners flocking in search of gold, copper and other raw materials.

FTSE 100 heavyweight Rio Tinto (RIO) recently set its sights on the country, signing an agreement with Kazakh state company Tau-Ken Samruk on joint mining in the Central Asian country.

After signing the deal Kazakhstan’s vice minister for industry, Albert Rau, described Rio’s arrival in the country as “very positive”, particularly given that exploration investment has been cut over the past few years.

And just last month, the government said it was considering building a third gold refinery this year or next as it aims to significantly boost its gold output. Last year, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced plans to boost its production to more than 70 tonnes by 2015 in order to join the world’s largest producers of the precious metal.

The country, Central Asia’s largest economy, holds some 4% of world gold reserves and ranks seventh in the world in terms of reserves. Last year, it produced 13.3 tonnes of refined gold, up 29.5% on 2009 numbers.

Kazakhstan benefits from not only its large expanse of underexploited land, but its proximity to China which could afford it an abundance of opportunities, analysts note.

Crucially, the Central Asian country has a good infrastructure system allowing it to transport its products to market. Mineral exports account for almost 75% of total exports, with the country dispatching more than its domestic consumption, according to analysts at Xcap Securities.

In 2010, it recorded a GDP figure of 4% up from 2% in 2009 thanks to the strong recovery in commodity prices, in particular gold and copper.

In the same year it also adopted the revised Law on Subsurface Use to create a favourable environment to lure exploration investment. The most notable change was the abolition of the royalties, replaced by Minerals Extraction Taxation imposed according to the different mineral mined. Furthermore, the government reduced corporate income tax from 30% to 20%, with another reduction to 17.5% expected in 2013 and 15% from 2014 onwards, according to data from Xcap Securities.

Little wonder then that UK-listed miners are casting their attentions to this land.

Central Asia Metals

Central Asia Metals (CAML) is one of the newest additions to AIM, having joined last September with a $60 million (?36.9 million) raising.

Its main focus is the large low-grade copper “waste” dump deposit, Kounrad, in south-central Kazakhstan.

The project, located 620 kilometres to the north of Almaty, was operational from 1936 to 2005 and accumulated “waste” dumps from the decades of open-pit mining operations.

At the moment the company is focused on constructing the first SX-EW plant as it eyes up first production by the end of 2011, with a view to ramping up to full rate by mid-2012.

“When we listed we had a project that would cost $47 million to get into production and we are on budget. Often companies are inclined to go back to the market cap in the hand which is a flaw of the AIM market but we have avoided that,” chief executive Nick Clarke told Interactive Investor.

The company, which boasts no debt, believes it will be cash flow positive in 2012.

But despite this, the company’s shares have underperformed the copper price since its IPO and are lower than their debut price in September. However, as the project approaches first production, analysts believe there is the opportunity for shares to rerate.

“We are very confident of achieving our goals and remain on track to achieve first production by the end of this year,” Clarke said.

The company, which also has assets in Mongolia, has an option to expand the project by an extra 10,000 ounces per annum. It is currently undertaking some work to decide whether to go ahead.

“Our current long term copper price assumptions would allow the group to fund internally the construction of a second plant with commercial production commencing in 2015,” said mining analysts at Mirabaud Securities.

And if it doesn’t? The company said it will seek to find other opportunities in Kazakhstan.

“Constructing this second plant would double copper production to circa 20,000 tonnes per year and shorten the mine life to 2029. Our valuation is therefore twofold. First, based on the processing of the dumps between the fourth quarter 2011 and 2044 at 10,000 Cu per year, we value CAML shares at 136p rising to 216p. Second, assuming production increases to 20,000 tonnes Cu per year from constructing a second plant between 2015 and 2029, we value CAML at 217p per share,” said Charles Gibson, analyst at Edison Investment Research.

Hambledon Mining

Gold mining and exploration group Hambledon Mining (HMB) has homed in on East Kazakhstan with the Sekisovskoye gold mine.

“Kazakhstan remains a good place to do business and the re-election of president Nursultan Nazarbayez in March has helped to ensure continued stability,” the company said.

Its main focus for the time being is on improving production at the mine, in a bid to build a solid and consistent production profile.

Analysts note that the mine has reported improved production since March 2010, producing 22,678 ounces of gold last year.

And in the three months from 1 April to 30 June, the company processed a record 219, 675 tonnes of material and churned out a total of 5,320 ounces of gold and 10, 786 ounces of silver.

“Management has shown that it is able to improve production performance, which has historically been hampered by harsh winters and poor recoveries,” said analyst Duncan Hughes at Ambrian.

But it won’t stop there.

The company is eyeing up an ambitious target of over 100,000 ounces by 2016 – no mean feat, although Ambrian believes the company has shown considerable strength in improving its output.

“Hambledon continues to deliver improved and consistent quarterly production. Management’s ‘hands-on’ approach is clearly having a positive impact and we expect market sentiment to reflect greater confidence in the company’s production performance going forward.”

A renewed boost of confidence would certainly help the company, which has seen its shares slide 40% over the past year.

To that end, Hambledon is concentrating on progressing the underground development whilst the open pit provides cash flow.

Last month, it unveiled a promising set of drill results, including a 150% increase in the average thickness of the gold mineralisation.

To date, 29 drill holes have been completed and chief executive Tim Daffern called the latest batch of 12 holes “encouraging” and in some cases, better than expectations.

“On the basis that Hambledon successfully executes its plans to commission an underground mining phase and ramp up production by transferring operations from surface to underground from end 2011, we value the company at 11.64p per share,” said analysts at Edison Investment Research.

Frontier Mining

AIM-listed Frontier Mining (FML) has big ambitions as far as Kazakhstan goes. The company, which was established in 1998, is working towards becoming the number one independent mining company in the country.

To that end, the company has concentrated on its flagship Benkala and Koskuduk projects, after recently selling its Maminskoye gold deposit in Russia for a cool $37.45 million.

It plans to plough the proceeds into launching the Benkala SX-EW project in a bid to become a “solid Kazakh-focused copper producer”.

“I believe that uncertainty about Frontier’s capacity to complete Benkala has weighed on our share price and that this monetisation of value will encourage investors to focus on the significant value that Frontier offers to investors,” said chief executive Erlan Sagadiev.

Indeed, the company’s share price has slipped 42% over the past 12 months.

But despite this, the company said it has been making firm progress across its operations and at the end of June hailed 2010 and the period post year-end as “transformational.”

The year saw the company raise $5.8 million in equity from a share placement and take on board $17 million of debt. It invested just over $19 million directly into the Benkala and Koskuduk projects.

It has also continued to make progress at the copper-molybdenum-gold porphyry Benkala deposit, with construction for the total project some 65% complete at the start of June and first production expected later in the year.

“Frontier’s key challenge will be to successfully bring Benkala into production by end 2011 and complete construction of the project by end 2013; execution of this could likely reverse the current share weakness,” said analysts at Edison Investment Research.

Meanwhile, at the Naimanjal Licence Area, located in north eastern Kazakhstan, Frontier is generating early cash flow from a low cost heap leach operation at the Koskuduk gold mine. While output in 2010 disappointed due to delays in permitting the power line to the site, operations restarted in May after the winter closure and the company has said it is confident it can reach an improved production forecast of 6,000 ounces this year.

Max Petroleum

But of course it wouldn’t be right to cover Kazakhstan without reference to its Caspian oil fields.

Welcome to Max Petroleum (MXP); an AIM-listed oil and gas explorer with exploration and production rights to the Blocks A&E licence area which includes two onshore blocks extending over 12 kilometres in the highly prolific Pre-Caspian Basin in Western Kazakhstan.

The company is focusing on two core portfolios of potential oil and gas deposits; shallow post-salt and deep pre-salt prospects.

It’s a move that’s paid off with shares up over 55% during the past 12 months.

The group kick-started the year with an $85 million fund raising, which it pledged to use for the post-salt drilling programme and a two-well pre-salt drilling programme.

Since the company renewed its post-salt exploration programme in January 2010, it has made five field discoveries. Its most recent, the KZIE-1 exploration well, discovered 17 metres of net oil pay in two Jurassic sandstone reservoirs earlier this month, and Max plans to test another three post-salt prospects this quarter.

“We are well positioned to execute on our exploration programme regardless of macro market conditions and look forward to continue generating significant value for our shareholders in the very near-term,” said executive co-chairman Robert Holland.

The company is also on the cusp of drilling its first pre-salt well at the Emba B prospect, targeting 467 million barrels of oil equivalent unrisked mean resources (135 mmboe risked).

Miramgul Maralova, analyst at Halyk Finance, said: “We view Max’s progress in the exploration and production development programs very positively. We expect a major stock price movement upon publication of drilling results of Max’s first pre-salt well in the first quarter of 2012.”

And in a further boost to investors, the company announced last month that it expects production in the current quarter to increase to 3,500 barrels of oil per day.

Brendan Long, analyst at Merchant Securities, said: “These are not incremental or marginal changes, these changes are of material significance to Max Petroleum. Investors who like this company should be pleased to bid aggressively into this news.”

In July, the company said the Kazakh government had approved an extension of the trial production project for the Zhana Makat field until 15 December 2011, while it seeks final regulatory approval to covert Zhana Makat to full field development which will allow it to produce for up to 25 years and sell 80% of its crude on the export market.

“With a potential upside greater than 160%, Max remains our favourite small cap idea,” said Barclays Capital.

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=760&cntnt01origid=90&cntnt01category_id=6&cntnt01returnid=90


Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 16, 2011 0

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Alex

BTA Bank reshuffles management
(SRI) – Kazakh lender BTA Bank has appointed Marat Zairov the new CEO, replacing Anvar Saidenov . Saidenov has been named chairman of the board of directors, the bank said in a statement on Monday.


Caterpillar to provide generators for Kazakh section of Asian Gas Pipeline (SRI)

Max Petroleum: Drilling begins at the UTS-3 appraisal well at Block A, Kazakhstan (Proactive Investors)


Kazakhstan may raise official inflation target – central bank
(SRI) – The National Bank of Kazakhstan may raise its inflation target for 2011 from the current 6.0-8.0%, as consumer prices in the country are rising fueled by rapid economic growth and soaring commodity prices, the central bank said in a statement last week.

Kazakh H1 trade surplus grows to $28.3 billion (Reuters)

Indicators – August 15, 2011 (Reuters)


ArcelorMittal Temirtau increases investment into coal division
(SRI) – ArcelorMittal Temirtau, the largest metallurgical enterprise in Kazakhstan, plans to invest $160 million into its coking coal division this year, up from $90 million in 2010, the company said in a statement on Monday, the Kazakhstan-Novosti news agency reported.


Kazakhstan’s Islamist threat? (The Diplomat)

CSTO informal summit opens in Astana (Interfax)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/08/16/




Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 9, 2011 0

Posted on August 08, 2011 by KazCham


KazMunaiGas raises $1-billion syndicated loan (SRI)

Kazakhstan increases uranium output in H1 (SRI)

Max Petroleum makes new oil discovery in Kazakhstan (Proactive Investors)


BTA reshuffles management amid performance worries
(SRI) – BTA Bank is set to replace chairman Arman Dunayev with CEO Anvar Saidenov as it tries to improve performance, Bloomberg reported last week, citing two sources familiar with the decision.

On the move: Kazkommertsbank (SRI)

Sberbank to issued $684-million worth of debt by 2012 (SRI)

Inditex to buy out its franchises in Kazakhstan (SRI)

Fitch withdraws ratings of Astana Finance and Astana Finance Leasing (Fitch)

Kazakhstan to produce 18-20 million tonnes of grains in 2011 – Nazarbayev (Interfax)

Indicators – August 8, 2011 (Reuters)


ENRC Q2 ferrochrome up, running at full capacity (Reuters)

ArcelorMittal Temirtau in $150 mln furnace upgrade (Reuters)

Polyus has 3 million ounces of gold in Kazakhstan, Romania (Bloomberg)

Frontier Mining: Three directors boost holdings in firm (Proactive Investors)


Kazakhstan returns prisons to tough Interior Minsitry control after riots and breakouts (The Telegraph)

Kazakhstan makes ‘quantum leap’ in its EU relations (TheParliament)

Kazakhstan launches Steppe Eagle exercises (Trend)


Is state-sponsored hacking curbing Internet freedom? (EurasiaNet)


Turkmenistan sets presidential vote for February 12 (AFP)

Central Asia’s 10 most influential (and connected) women (RFE/RL)

Kazakh bid for more Kyrgyz water comes up dry (RFE/RL)

Tajikistan bans youth from mosques (AFP)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/08/09/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-august-9-2011/

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – July 12, 2011 1

Posted on July 11, 2011 by KazCham

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – July 7, 2011 0

Posted on July 06, 2011 by KazCham

Kashagan said in crisis (again)

(bne) – Shell and its partners developing the Kashagan oilfield will have to ask the Kazakh government for an extension to the 2013 deadline for the first oil from the troubled project, in what would be a humiliating move that could have dire consequences for the future of the project, according to The Daily Telegraph.


Consortium launches $5.4-billion pipeline expansion (SRI)

Max Petroleum to raise production in Q3; receives trial production approval (SRI)

Gazprom cosies up to Kazakh billionaire (Financial Times)

Jupiter Energy eyes significant milestones in coming months (Proactive Investors)


BTA makes $166.4 coupon payment (SRI)

On the move: BTA Bank, Samruk-Kazyna (SRI)

Saks, de Beers opening stores in Kazakhstan (SRI)

Monthly inflation 0.3% in June (SRI)

Kazakh central bank leaves refinancing rate unchanged at 7.5% (SRI)

S&P affirms Kazpost ratings, withdraws them upon company request (S&P)

New defaults on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange possible – KASE chairman (Interfax)

Indicators – July 5, 2011 (Reuters)


Kazakhstan may build new gold refinery to help boost output (SRI)

Kazakhmys to consider acquisitions with “huge” production potential (SRI)

Kazakh, Slovak companies to mine for lead ore in eastern Kazakhstan (SRI)

Sunkar reports progress on Chilisai project study (SRI)

First Quantum won’t sell its congolese plant to ENRC, pursues mine rights (Bloomberg)


The scent of elections (EurasiaNet)

Kazakhstan opens naval air base, intimidates strikers? (EurasiaNet)


Sting cancels Kazakh concert over oil worker dispute (SRI)

Kazakhs invest in new Astana (euronews)

Authoritarian Kazakh prez to be hero of fairy tale (AP)


U.S. shifts supply routes to Central Asia – report (AFP)

Turkmenistan president ’sings own birthday song’ (AFP)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/07/07/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-july-7-2011/

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – May 17, 2011 0

Posted on May 17, 2011 by KazCham


Kazakh BTA bank bonds in sharp selloff
(Reuters) – Bonds in Kazakhstan’s BTA bank extended recent sharp losses on Monday, with the 2025 issue trading at a record low 56 cents on the dollar, following recent results which some said had disappointed investors.

Kazakhmys to list shares in Hong Kong in June
(SRI) – Kazakh copper miner Kazakhmys has gained regulatory approval for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, as it tries to build up its relationship with China, its largest customer.


Kazakhstan increases oil, gas, coal production in Jan-Apr 2011 (SRI)

Max Petroleum finds oil in ZMA-ET2 well at Zhana Makat field (Proactive Investors)


Kazakh Q1 trade surplus grows to $11.6 billion (Reuters)

$40 oil price appears in Kazakh economy negative scenario (Interfax)

Indicators – May 16, 2011 (Reuters)


Polyus Gold to close reverse takeover of KazakhGold in July
(RIA Novosti) – Russia’s top gold miner Polyus Gold will close a long delayed reverse takeover by Kazakhstan’s KazakhGold in July, Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of Onexim group, one of Polyus Gold’s beneficiaries, said on Monday.

Kazakh Jan-Apr copper, zinc output down (Reuters)

Frontier Mining: pit study underlines quality of Benkala project (Proactive Investors)


U.S. appoints first Turkmenistan envoy in 5 years (Reuters)

Jubilant Azerbaijan seeks new image with Eurovision (AFP)


Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – May 16, 2011 0

Posted on May 16, 2011 by KazCham


New focus on “people’s IPO” following election
(bne) – With Kazakhstan’s presidential elections out of the way, the focus in Astana is on the “People’s IPOs”. Plans to sell minority stakes in various state-owned enterprises are a little behind schedule, but due to take place by the end of the year.


MIE Holdings issues $400-million bond to buy Kazakh oil junior (SRI)

Max Petroleum begins drilling NARS-1 exploration well on Narmundanak South prospect(Proactive Investors)

Tub-Karagan-2 exploration well completed (Interfax)

Uranium One turns a profit in the first quarter, posts record revenue (Proactive Investors)


Kazkommertsbank issues $300-million Eurobond
(SRI) – Kazkommertsbank, Kazakhstan’s largest lender by assets, has placed a seven-year Eurobond worth $300 million at an annual rate of 8.50% on May 5, the bank said last week.

Kazakh bank BTA returns to profit, may sell assets
(Reuters) – Kazakh bank BTA is open to offers for its Belarussian and Turkish assets and will seek to expand lending to the retail sector and small businesses at home this year, the bank’s chief executive said last Thursday.

Kazakhstan Temir Zholy repays $450-million Eurobond (SRI)

Asian Development Bank to lend $500 million to Kazakhstan for SMEs (SRI)

On the move: Samruk-Kazyna (SRI)

Kazakhstan GDP grows 6.6% in Q1 – statistics agency (Reuters)

Kazakhstan oligarch suffers setback in London legal battle (EurasiaNet)

Indicators – May 13, 2011 (Reuters)


Glencore’s $7.6-billion Kazakh business under threat
(Telegraph) – Kazakhstan’s leading opposition figures have accused Glencore of benefiting from an illegal privatisation of assets, amid fears the recent commodities sell-off could hurt the company’s valuation or force it to pull its $61-billion flotation.

ENRC warns on cost pressures, Q1 output rises (Reuters)


Kazakhstan making steady progress against corruption (The Hill)

Kazakhstan: Washington experts go on spin cycle (Eurasia Review)

Kazakhstan and NATO preparing for a new partnership stage (Interfax)


Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – April 28, 2011 0

Posted on April 28, 2011 by KazCham

Kazkommertsbank to issue Eurobond in May
(SRI) – Kazakhstan’s largest lender, Kazkommertsbank, plans to issues medium-term dollar-denominated debt after May 2, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Alliance in talks with EBRD about possible stake sale
(SRI) – Alliance Bank, Kazakhstan’s sixth-largest lender by assets, confirmed on Wednesday that it was holding talks with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) about the possible sale of a stake in the bank.


MIE Holdings to issue notes to fund Kazakh acquisition (SRI)

Max Petroleum signs drilling rig contract with Saipem (SRI)


Alliance Bank says capital shortage owes to accounting systems
(Bloomberg) – State-controlled Alliance Bank, Kazakhstan’s sixth-largest lender by assets, said a KZT105 billion ($722 million) capital shortfall noted by auditors resulted from discrepancies in accounting standards.

Planned bad-loan fund could issue bonds worth $1 billion – Marchenko
(SRI) – A planned bad-loan fund may issue bonds worth KZT150 billion ($1.03 billion) to buy unsecured non-performing assets from Kazakhstan’s banks, central bank chairman Grigoriy Marchenko said on Wednesday.

Cash squeeze threatens bounce in Kazakh wheat crop (Agrimoney.com)

Indicators – April 27, 2011 (Reuters)


ArcelorMittal Kazakh mine fire forces evacuation of 319 workers (Bloomberg)

Frontier Mining restarts operations at Koskuduk early due to good weather (Proactive Investors)


India courts a distant Kazakhstan (World Politics Review)

Shanghai Cooperation Organization ministers to meet in Kazakhstan (RIA Novosti)


China lends Turkmenistan $4 billion for gas field

(AFP) – Energy hungry China has given Turkmenistan a loan of $4.1 billion (three billion euros) to develop a gas field and boost exports, the state gas company Turkmengaz said Tuesday.

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/04/28/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-april-28-2011/

↑ Top