The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend the equivalent of $30 million in the local currency, the tenge, to Kazakhstan’s Eastcomtrans rail company to purchase rolling stock and other cargo transit equipment, the EBRD said in a press release on Dec. 10. Some of the loan will also be used for balance sheet restructuring.
One of the EBRD’s stated priorities in Kazakhstan is supporting the private sector, and Eastcomtrans is a private company operating in a railway sector dominated by state-owned companies. The second stage of the financing package, the details of which are still being worked out, will allow for a loan of an additional $25 million, the EBRD press release said.
“This financing was organised in a difficult economic setting with limited access to international funding available to the company. The loan demonstrates our commitment to Kazakhstan, where this year we are on track to have record investment totalling $750 million,” said Thomas Maier, EBRD managing director for infrastructure, at the signing of the agreement in Almaty.
The EBRD has provided several loans to organisations operating in Kazakhstan’s railway sector this year. In March, it announced a $9 million loan to joint stock company Olzha. In September, the EBRD announced that they would provide a loan of more than $165 million in local currency to state rail company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, the largest local currency loan by the EBRD in Kazakhstan as of that date.
During this year’s Astana Economic Forum, the EBRD and the National Bank of Kazakhstan signed two agreements to enable the EBRD to source up to $1 billion in tenge from the National Bank to lend onward to Kazakh organisations.