Economic news in brief

Non-cash payments on Kazakh issuers’ cards within and beyond the country doubled to 6.3 trillion tenge (US$16.24 billion) from January-July, reported ranking.kz. Until 2019, the share of international payment systems in non-cash options ranged between 97-99 percent. During the first six months of 2019, the share of local payment systems had significant growth from 0.7 to 7.5 percent year-on-year (yoy) and 476 billion tenge (US$1.23 billion), a 23-time increase. The share of non-cash in the total turnover increased from 26.2 to 39.4 percent. Internet payments accounted for 65.2 percent of the total, while those via POS-terminals represented 33 percent.

Private enterprises operating with state participation decreased 5.3 percent to 648 year-on-year (yoy) in the first half of 2019 and 16 percent over the past five years. Yet in the same six months, 566 public private partnership (PPP) contracts were signed for 1.5 trillion tenge (US$3.87 billion). According to the Kazakhstan Public Private Partnership Centre, the PPP contracts were 1.5 times the cost of the projects’ portfolio. The main share of the contracts is at the local level and represents 98.4 percent of the total. Private investments exceeded 570 billion tenge (US$1.47 billion) and state obligations related to investment were 177.5 billion tenge (US$457.49 million). The figures show private business and the state have found mutually beneficial points of cooperation, said the centre.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) exported 41.517 million tonnes of oil from January-August, a 3.26-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). CPC exported 61.084 million tonnes of oil in 2018, 10.8 percent more than in 2017. Of all the oil CPC shipped last year from the Novorossiysk port sea terminal, 54.3 million tonnes were from Kazakh fields. The largest volumes came from Tengiz (28.7 million tonnes), Kashagan (13.2 million tonnes) and Karachaganak (10.3 million tonnes). CPC, which transports more than two-thirds of Kazakhstan’s total oil exports, was established to construct pipeline and export oil in transit through Russia’s territory. The consortium owns the 1,511-kilometre Tengiz-Novorossiysk pipeline, which connects the fields in western Kazakhstan with the Black Sea coast.

Consulting services for parent companies, as well as in the management sector, decreased 26.2 percent to 123.6 billion tenge (US$318.57 million) in the first half of the year, reported energyprom.kz. The main bulk of services (90.8 percent) is in three regions. Companies in Nur-Sultan account for 55.7 percent of the consulting budget, a decrease of more than 40 percent over the year. Almaty companies’ spending increased 20.1 percent, comprising 28.4 percent of the total. Atyrau Region spending decreased 29.2 percent, accounting for 6.6 percent of the total. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged reducing unreasonable consulting spending from the budget during the August meeting with the government.

Aluminium ore production declined 20.8 percent year-on-year (yoy) to 2.5 million tonnes in January-August. In 2018, the production volume reached 6.1 million tonnes, a 26-percent increase. The largest enterprise in the industry is Aluminium of Kazakhstan, owned by Eurasian Resources Group (ERG). The company is the only one in the country producing alumina (raw materials for aluminium production). On average, the company annually produces 1.4 million tonnes of alumina from bauxite mined in the Kostanai and Pavlodar regions. Unprocessed aluminium production also decreased 6.7 percent yoy to 965,200 tonnes.