Economic News in Brief

The average subsistence minimum in Kazakhstan was 28,700 tenge (US$78.70) at the end of September 2018, a sum 14.1 percent higher than a year earlier. September data on the subsistence minimum show systematic though not sharp growth over recent years, with an average increase year on year of 8.1 percent. The highest subsistence minimum rates are in the oil-producing regions (it is 36,100 tenge or US$99.10 in the Mangistau region, for example), Astana and Almaty and the East Kazakhstan region. The lowest are in the densely populated southern regions, the Zhambyl region (where it is 25,300 tenge or US$69.40) and the Turkestan region.

Small enterprises’ revenues from sales of products and services hit the record high of 7.9 trillion tenge (US$21.68 billion) in first half of 2018, which is 37.9 percent higher than revenues in the same period last year, when they reached 5.8 trillion tenge (US$15.91 billion). Along with income from primary and secondary activities, small business received income from financing and other sources totaling 656.9 billion tenge (US$1.80 billion) this year, a figure that was 530.9 billion tenge (US$1.45 billion) in 2017. Kazakhstan’s two biggest cities lead in profitability, with 1.4 trillion tenge (US$3.84 billion) in Astana and 2.6 trillion tenge (US$7.13 billion) in Almaty.

The number of microloan organisations in Kazakhstan had fallen by 9.9 percent by the end of the second quarter of 2018, decreasing by 26 organisations to a total of 236. The number of microloan organisations began to decline starting in 2014 when there were 661 such enterprises in the country. The number of these organisations is dropping by 16.3 percent per year. Almaty has the most microcredit organisations, with 50 companies operating in the sector, 21.2 percent of the whole market. The total number of loans issued at the end of the second quarter of the current year was 192,500, totalling 70.8 billion tenge (US$194.27 million). Despite the decrease in the number of microcredit organisations, the number of loans issued has grown steadily over the last two years.

The total volume of trading on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) in September was 12.2 trillion tenge (US$33.47 billion), which is 20 percent more than a year earlier. The main contributor to the growth of traded volume was the money market, which increased by 10 percent (877.4 billion tenge or US$2.41 billion) and now comprises 79.1 percent of all trading. In the securities market there was an almost tenfold increase to 1.1 trillion tenge (US$3.12 billion). Foreign currency trading amounted to 1.4 trillion tenge (US$3.84 billion), an increase of 10.4 percent compared with last year. Overall, trading volume is growing, though since the beginning of 2018, trade volumes have decreased by 1.8 percent or 218.7 billion tenge (US$600.09 million).

Astana and Almaty registered 40 percent of all country’s small businesses at the end of September – 425,000 legal entities. The number of active small enterprises was 153,500, however, which is 12.8 percent more than in 2017. Most small enterprises are involved in sectors like wholesale, retail trade and car repair works (36,900 companies or 24 percent of all industries). Construction and education are the next most popular industries for small businesses, at 15,000 and 14,900 respectively. The total market share of the three listed sectors is 43.5 percent or 66,700 active small companies.

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