Business news in Brief

The decision to award the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) membership in the World Federation of Exchanges(WFE)was made at the 53rd General Assembly of the World Federation of Exchanges on Oct. 29in Mexico City. According to KASE, the awarding of WEF membership is an acknowledgment of KASE’s compliance with international standards of exchange activities and generally recognised standards of quality, credibility and security of the national market for international investors. The World Federation of Exchanges, formerly the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV), or International Federation of Stock Exchanges, is the trade association of 57 publicly regulated stock, futures and options exchanges. Its market operators are responsible for operating the key components of the financial world. It is based in Paris, France. The WFE is a central reference point for the securities industry and for exchanges themselves. The federation offers members guidance in their business strategies and in the improvement and harmonisation of their management practices. Membership in WFE is considered by some governments and national associations of asset managers as criteria for preferential investment policy and taxation for these markets. There are two Associates, 17 WFE Affiliates with separate professional relations and 29 exchanges, which are WFE Correspondents. KASE joined WFE as a correspondent in 1997 and was upgraded to affiliate in 2008.

Kazakhstan has taken a 50th spot in the World Bank’s rating for ease of doing business, “Doing Business 2014.” out of 189 countries on the list. There were improvements in such areas as being granted permission to build; registration of property (a significant jump of nine places to 18th); and resolution of insolvency. As before, the world leader for ease of doing business is Singapore, with the remainder of the top ten countries being Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA, Denmark, Malaysia, South Korea, Georgia, Norway and the UK. Kazakhstan’s rating compares favourably with most of the countries of the former USSR. Only Georgia, the three Baltic republics (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia) and Armenia rank higher.

Almasadam Satkaliyev, head of Samruk-Energy, briefed the media in Astana on Nov. 7 about the volumes of energy supplied by Kazakhstan to Customs Union member states. “Thanks to the launch of the eighth energy unit at the GRES-1, Kazakhstan received new export opportunities and some reserve in the sector. Traditionally, we export about 300 megawatts of energy to the Omsk generation centre. During the interstate talks at the level of representatives of the energy industries, the Belenergocompany submitted an application for import of about 300 megawatts of energy generated in Kazakhstan in case the issue of energy transportation through the territory of Russia is set. We are working on resolving this issue jointly with the Russian energy sector,” Satkaliyev said.

Chairman of the Board of Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC) Bakytzhan Kazhiyev during a Nov. 7 press briefing addressed the advantages and challenges related to the agreement on electric energy transportation. Kazhiyev’s statements come in the wake of a recent meeting of Customs Union heads of state in Minsk, during which Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the agreement was not working well. At the Nov. 7 briefing, Kazhiyev said, “In order to ensure smooth operation of energy systems of all neighbouring countries, we work in parallel with Russia and Central Asian countries. This benefits all countries in terms of ensuring fail-safety and covering the existing deficit. As you all know, Kazakhstan presently has a deficit of manoeuvring, reserve and peak capacities. We also have a deficit of energy capacities, therefore mutual supplies of energy are carried out within the Common Economic Space. A concept of energy systems integration between Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus is planned to be developed. Presently, we have some difficulties regarding access to the markets of these countries due to the fact that all countries have different energy sector structures, different markets of energy sector development. I believe all these issues will be resolved in the concept, which is expected to be presented by the Commission of the Common Economic Space in mid-2014,” he said.

The Government should pay special attention to the remarks and complaints of entrepreneurs and people regarding implementation of the Business Road Map 2020, Sergey Plotnikov, member of the Senate (upper chamber of the Parliament) Committee for Finance and Budget, told a Central Communication Service (CCS) media briefing on Nov. 7. “The Business Road Map 2020 became an effective instrument to support entrepreneurs in our country. However, there are a number of remarks and complaints regarding implementation of this programme. As the Presidentstated recently, the pace of financing of interest rates under the Business Road Map 2020 is very slow in 43 districts and towns of the country. These are regions such as West Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan, Mangystau and the Karaganda regions. No funds were allocated for interest rates subsidisation in 10 districts and towns. This hinders development of entrepreneurship and economic sectors,” the member of the Senate noted. According to him, a number of regions also face a deficit of budget funds allocated for the Business Road Map. Thus, the deficit of funds for 155 projects approved by the regional commissions totals 1.5 billion tenge ($9.8 million). “For this reason, the Government should take timely measures and allocate additional funds for those regions and programmes which presently work intensively,” Plotnikov said.

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