Business News in Brief

Verny Capital, a Kazakhstan investment company, said on February 20 that in partnership with Kazzinc it had acquired the Raygorodok gold deposit, located in the Akmola region and the Komarovsky gold deposit in the Kostanay region for 30 billion tenge ($200 million). Verny Capital will own 10.5 percent of the mines and Kazzinc will control 89.5 percent. Verny Capital manages the assets of unit investment funds and individual investors. It is a major fully integrated zinc producer with copper, precious metals and lead holdings. The company’s core operations are in Kazakhstan, mainly in the East Kazakhstan Region. It was established in 1997 through the merger of Eastern Kazakhstan’s three main non-ferrous metal companies – Ust-Kamenogorsk Lead and Zinc, Leninogorsk Polymetallic and Zyryanovsk Lead. All three producers were majority-owned by the government. The controlling block of shares in Kazzinc has been sold to the private sector. Glencore International AG is its largest main investor.

The Kazakhstan Agency for Statistics said the production of raw and semi-finished gold and powdered gold increased by 47 percent to 3,624 tons (117,000 ounces) in January 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Production of raw and semi-finished silver and powdered silver increased by 54.8 percent to 76.69 tons (2.47 million ounces). The production of refined gold in January 2013 increased by 81.9 percent to 1.899 tons (61,100 ounces) and of refined silver by 55.9 percent to 76.541 tons (2.46 million ounces) compared to the same period in 2012. Total gold production in 2012 amounted to 40 tons.

Kazakhstan has been ranked 56th in the globalization index of Ernst & Young, one of the world’s leading professional services organisations. The annual index is based on five criteria: openness to trade, capital flows, exchange of technology and ideas, labour movements and cultural integration. The rating was based on a survey of 730 managers of major corporations around the world. The list covers 60 countries. Kazakhstan is ranked 56th with 3.12 points, an improvement of 0.06 points on 2011. Hong Kong leads the listing with 7.81 points followed by Singapore (6.31 points), Ireland (5.63 points), Belgium (5.49 points) and Switzerland (5.3 points). Britain ranked 10th (4.74 points), France 14th (4.58 points), the United States is 25th (4.33 points), China is 44th (3.53 points), Ukraine is 47th (3.31 points) and Russia is 48th (3.24 points). Iran came last with 2.16 points.

The first nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan will probably be built in Aktau, Kazatomprom Managing Director Valery Shevelev told a meeting of the Central Communications Service on March 4. “A decision has been reached to build the station, probably in the city of Aktau in the Mangystau region since qualified personnel and infrastructure exist there,” Shevelev said. An international tender will be issued for the project. On January 23, President Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed Kazatomprom to prepare a proposal to build the new plant within the next six months.

A Kazakhstan-Belarusian IT forum took place in Astana on March 4, said. The forum brought together government officials and business leaders from both countries. Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications Saken Sarsenov said the forum provided an opportunity to exchange information about online government services, electronic commerce, new software for business and government and new hardware. The forum’s participants discussed created new analytical systems for government, databases, interdepartmental information data flows, and the introduction of information technologies in municipal services. They also explored the use of information systems and safety technologies in schools. The forum explored the introduction of computeised automobile checkpoints on borders within the Customs Union and the interface of new IT systems with old ones. Other topics included the use of IT in the oil and gas sector, in banks and in industry. Kazakhstan and Belarus plan to intiroduce electronic signatures. More than 25 companies took part in the forum.

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