Business news in brief

The Kazakh Ministry of Finance has proposed a phased introduction for the universal declaration of income and property among Kazakh citizens, starting 2021, reports its press service. Current legislation would introduce the declaration in 2020. Work is underway to prepare a legislative framework, information systems, database updates and pilot projects in Kazakhstan’s regions. A pilot project in Karaganda Region indicated several problems that will take some time to solve, the ministry said. It proposes government employees and their spouses declare their income and property January 2021; employees of state-owned firms and their spouses declare their income and property January 2023; heads of legal entities, entrepreneurs and their spouses declare their income and property January 2024; and everyone else declare their income and property January 2025. At each stage, results will be analysed, problems identified and measures undertaken to improve legislation, methodology and information systems. Legislation amendments for submission to the Kazakh Parliament are now being developed.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), the ERG Commercial Centre launched its first ERG Supplier Award competition. To participate, producers must win any of ERG’s auctions before the October deadline. ERG’s needs are met by more than 3,500 suppliers, 2,000 of which are Kazakh firms. The competition aims to support Kazakhstan’s producers and recognise their efforts and will be held annually. A jury will decide on the winners Nov. 1, and the winners will receive support in promoting their brand and in participating in ERG tenders.

Kazakhstan’s first national low-cost airline, FlyArystan, has launched ticket sales for flights between Almaty and the capital, its press service reports. Flights to and from Nur-Sultan begin May 1 on Airbus A320 jets with a 180-seat capacity. Flight costs start at 6,999 tenge (US$18.46) for one-way flights. This is the most anticipated flight connection set up by the airline, said FlyArystan Sales and Marketing Director Zhanar Zhailauova. Earlier this month, the airline launched ticket sales for flights between Almaty and Oral and Almaty and Taraz. Tickets are available at www.flyarystan.com.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev approved amendments to Kazakhstan’s legislation to improve the country’s business environment, reports the Akorda press service. He signed the law “On introducing amendments and addenda to some legislative acts on the development of the business environment and the regulation of trade activities,” which aims to improve legislation on entrepreneurship, tax and customs administration, electronic and agro-industrial trade, foreign trade with Eurasian Economic Union member states and the labelling and traceability of goods. For example, participants in special economic zones (SEZ) will have the right to choose a zero value-added tax rate when selling goods within SEZ territory.

Chingis Rakhmetov was appointed April 1 a member of Kaspi Bank’s Board of Directors, and Gulnar Koyaidarova left her post at the board, reports KASE. The board now consists of Vyacheslav Kim, Michael Lomtadze and Rakhmetov. Kaspi.kz shares are owned by Kim, Lomtadze and BV funds, holding 33 percent, 32 percent and 35 percent, respectively. An initial public offering of Kaspi.kz is planned this year on the London Stock Exchange.

The Kazakh Senate has adopted amendments to the law “On the guaranteed transfer from the Kazakh National Fund in 2019 to 2021,” reports Inform.kz. This year, the guaranteed transfer will increase by 250 billion tenge (US$659.46 million), and 23 percent of the national budget will be drawn from the guaranteed transfer, said Kazakh Senate Finance and Budget Committee Chair Olga Perepechina. The changes were made to finance new initiatives outlined at the Feb. 27 18th Congress of the Nur Otan party.