Business News in Brief

“Within the privatisation programme, three companies of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy were sold for 2.6 billion tenge [US$14.32 million],” the Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund press service noted on Oct. 16. According to Serikbek Yelshibekov, general director of Samruk Kazyna Contract LLP, seven companies were put to electronic tender. “Electronic tenders for Bas Balkhash 2004 LLP, Birzhan Atyrau LLP, Gasyr-Mangistau LLP and Ak Beren LLP were not held because of an absence of registered participants. However, Yertys Service LLP, MAK-Yekibastuz LLP and Kazykurt-South LLP were sold for 2.6 billion tenge,” Yelshibekov said. Yertys Service was sold for 703.8 million tenge (US$3.87 million), which was 15 percent higher than the starting price, Kazykurt-South was sold for 960.5 million tenge (US$5.29 million), 1.6 times higher than the starting price and MAK-Yekibastuz for 1.02 billion tenge (US$5.61 million), 3.6 times higher than the starting price. Four investors were interested in the purchase of Yertys Service, seven in Kazykurt-South and six in MAK-Yekibastuz. The potential buyers increased the price 12, 50 and 55 times, respectively, which indicates a high interest in the assets. Kazykurt-South and Yertys Service are involved in the preparation of railway tanks for petroleum products, while MAK-Yekibastuz repairs technical coaches and diesel and electric trains. “The closure of transactions to sell the companies is expected within two months,” Yelshibekov said. The government and Samruk Kazyna developed a comprehensive privatisation plan for the fund for 2014-2016. The programme is designed to reduce state involvement in the economy and strengthen its foundations. Previously, six companies were sold for 836 million tenge (US$4.6 million) under the programme.

“Over 457,000 hectares of unused agricultural land was returned to the state land fund in the Zhambyl region,” said Akim (Governor) of the region Karim Kokrekbayev at an Oct. 10 media briefing. “As a result of the land inventory of 2011-2013, about 547,000 hectares of idle agricultural land was detected. This includes 169,000 hectares of cropland and 10,200 hectares of irrigated land. As a result of undertaken measures, 457,000 hectares of unused agricultural land, including 91,900 hectares of cropland, was returned to the state land fund,” Kokrekbayev said. Another 173,000 hectares of land, including 64,400 hectares of cropland, was returned to agriculture. It is also planned to create a vegetable and fruit cluster in the Shu district that is expected to double the production of vegetables and fruits by 2020, he said.

“The Affordable Housing Programme reduces the load on the national budget and provides for the growth of the volume of housing,” Deputy Head of the Board of the Housing Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan Yerbol Karashukeyev said at an Oct. 14 Central Communications Service (CCS) media briefing. “The uniqueness of our system is that after financing, the funds are returned to the administration quite quickly. For example, local executive bodies allocated 30 billion tenge [US$165.24 million] for the construction of housing in 2015, and the bank has already returned 30 billion tenge this year,” he noted. “Thus, the funds are not lost in the process, but can be used again,” he said, increasing the multiplicative effect of one invested tenge.

According to the Short-Term Energy Outlook published on Oct. 7 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Kazakhstan’s oil output will remain stable at 1.72 million barrels per day in 2014.

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