Economy News in Brief

Speaking at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development’s 22nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors and Business Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, finance minister of Kazakhstan Bolat Zhamishev announced on May 10 that the country will raise funds by issueing a Eurobond worth €1 billion. “In 2013 we would like to go back to the borrowing market and I think that we will probably borrow up to $1 billion, it will be in US dollars,” he told the annual meeting. “We are going to the external markets not for money but for credit, for loans, for benchmarks and in order to make ourselves present in this market,” he told reporters.Kazakhstan already has four Eurobonds, one of them used here as an example is called the Kazakhstan 2021 and is floating on the London Stock Exchange with Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the book runner and Deutsche Bank as the paying agent. Outstanding at the moment are €47 million which will until 2021 give the Kazakh government a total of €100 million, the initial investment of €100,000 began on December 29 in 2005. The governments of Russia and the UK are guarantors on the bond and it matures twice a year.

Kazakhstan has raised its oil export tax by 50 percent to $60 per metric ton ($8.19 dollars per barrel), effective from April 13 to get a larger share of revenue from sales of crude, the Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper said. Kazakhstan is Central Asia’s biggest oil producer and it began taxing crude oil exports in May 2008 to raise cash as global credit markets tightened. The duty was eliminated in January 2009 but it was restored at a rate of $20 per metric ton in August 2010, and then raised to $40 per metric ton in January 2011. Kazakhstan is raising the tax after industrial production growth slowed in 2012 compared to the previous year. “The nation does not plan to raise the tax further this year,” Economy and Budget Planning Deputy Minister Marat Kussainov said, according to an Interfax report.

A Kazakh-Swiss joint venture to produce the chemical element tantalum will be launched in the Congo and Rwanda, Kazatomprom chief Vladimir Shkolnik told journalists attending the first meeting of the Kazakhstan-Switzerland Business Council on April 13. “Switzerland is interested in creating such a joint venture because we are the largest processor of this metal and we have the unique technology for processing of the product with high added value,” he said. The Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk produces tantalum from imported raw material. The Swiss company owns the African mines. The parties are ready to invest up to $100 million.

On April 22, KAZNEX INVEST Regional Director for Europe Marhabbat Balgabay met a delegation of Italian businessmen in Astana to discuss investments in machine building, energy, mining and prospecting for natural resources. Erlan Khairov, the chairman of the Committee on Investments of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies (MINT) and, Astana EXPO 2017 Company Deputy Chairman Alisher Pirmatov participated in the talks. The Magraf Company offers a new technology for processing natural stone. The Linea Light Group specialises in lighting engineering and public illuminations. The Neri Company provides public illuminations with energy saving technology. Estel produces furniture for offices, theatres and concert halls. The Gruppo Tosoni constructs high-rise buildings, railways and road bridges.

According to the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning, Kazakhstan will chair the 47th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2014. At the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank, India officially transferred ADB Board of Governors’ chair in 2014 to Kazakhstan. Thus, according to the Ministry, ADB meeting will be held in Astana on 2-3 May, PM’s official website reports. According to preliminary estimates, the ADB meeting in Astana will gather about 5,000 people.

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