Business news in brief

French firm Alstom will implement two projects in Almaty, Alstom board member Philippe Delair told a recent Kazakh-Europe business forum in Brussels. The first project is to modernise Kazakhstan’s railway infrastructure, with investment to be directed toward improving the security and reliability of the railway’s digital data transmission. It will begin with an update of the data transmission systems in Kazakhstan’s five main railway stations. The second project will centre on Almaty’s light rail system. Founded in 1928, Alstom operates in rail transport markets, particularly in the fields of passenger transportation, signalling and locomotives.

Kazakhstan’s uranium mining firm Kazatomprom will list up to 25 percent of its shares on the London stock exchange as part of its initial public offering, Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov told an Oct. 24 briefing. Kazatomprom, according to national law, is to offer 20 percent of its shares in Kazakhstan through the Astana International Exchange, but the actual amount of the offering will depend on demand. The company could be valued from $3 billion to $4 billion, and its shares will be sold by the Samruk Kazyna sovereign wealth fund as depositary receipts.

Automotive industry production in Kazakhstan increased by 70 percent, KazAvtoProm Chair Oleg Alfyorov told a recent Central Communications Service meeting. In September alone, more than 3,000 vehicles were produced. The country has produced approximately 23,000 vehicles worth in excess of 140 billion tenge (US$378.55 million) in 2018, 70.3 percent more than last year’s volumes. These vehicles include cars, trucks, buses and trailers. Within this time period, the production of passenger cars increased by 82.6 percent, while the output of trucks decreased by 17.2 percent.

Kazakh residents spent 23.8 billion tenge (US$64.35 million) on entertainment in 2018 so far, reports Energyprom.kz. This year’s expenditure exceeds last year’s by 20.7 percent. More than 80 percent of entertainment expenditure centred on concert and theatre activities, while circus activities accounted for only 2 percent. Approximately 9 billion tenge (US$24.34 million) was spent on entertainment in Astana, which is 30.8 percent more than last year. In Almaty, more than 6 billion tenge (US$16.22 million) was spent. Atyrau is in third place among the regions, with expenditure at 1.45 billion tenge (US$3.92 million). The number of registered entertainment companies in Kazakhstan reached 6,400 in 2018, a 7.1 percent increase since last year.

Royal Dutch Shell and Kazakhstan will continue energy sector cooperation for the next 25 years, Shell Exploration and Production Director Andrew Brown told an October meeting of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev with European businesspersons in Brussels. According to Brown, the agreement on friendly dispute resolution on the objectivity index recently signed between Kazakhstan and stakeholders in the Karachaganak project, among them Shell, will facilitate more investment. He also noted that Shell’s 2018 energy development scenario provides for the global economy’s full decarbonisation, thus complying with EXPO 2017’s Future Energy theme.

Japanese conglomerate Hitachi recently founded the sales company Eurasian Machinery in Kazakhstan as part of its expansion into Central Asia’s construction machinery market, reports 24.kz. According to Eurasian Machinery CEO Mehmet Kemal Cetinelli, Hitachi currently supplies equipment to KAZ Minerals and Eurasian Resources Group. Now, specialised equipment from Japan will become more accessible to mining and construction companies in Central Asia. Hitachi Construction Machinery Chair Tatsuro Ishizuka noted that Kazakhstan was chosen as the host country for the promising prospects it offered for the multinational company’s growth in the sales network and value chain business.