Business news in brief

The Nur-Sultan Department for Investment and Enterprise Development has devised a programme allowing large retailers to obtain soft loans in exchange for maintaining prices on certain products, reported inbusiness.kz Nov. 14. Because the mechanism is aimed at stabilising prices, interest will be 0.01 percent. Retailers using the loans would be required to preserve prices on 19 socially significant products such as milk, bread, eggs, potatoes and beef. Soft loans have been in practice since 2017, providing approximately 300 million tenge (US$776,000) in the past two years and providing positive results, according to the department.

The Digital Kazakhstan Association and the Public Council overseeing the Ministry of Trade and Integration held a roundtable Nov. 4 about the draft law on consumer rights’ protection, reported inbusiness.kz. Part of the draft law sets the priority for restoring and compensating for violated consumer rights. According to Committee for Consumer Rights Protection Deputy Chairperson Aizhan Bizhanova, administrative fines go directly to the national budget and have no effect on restoring a consumer’s rights. The committee developed and improved eight key areas, including the Institute for Self-Regulation, where a consumer can register a complaint and choose a pre-trial settlement. Administrative liability will be applied in four cases – untimely return or exchange of goods, failure to reveal goods’ properties, providing goods and services without relevant documentation and instances where the entrepreneur has not responded to a consumer complaint within ten days. The last case was of concern to businesspeople, who said not every type of business could process complaints within that time frame. They noted the committee did not analyse the draft law’s effects on businesses.

The Information and Accounting Centre (IAC) proposed introducing BidaiCoin in April for grain purchases, reported inbusiness.kz Nov. 13. The buyer will convert tenge into BidaiCoin one to one on qoldau.kz and instantly pay the grain farmer for his product. The method is intended to secure farmers from instances when buyers do not pay or banks have money problems. The contract with qoldau.kz will be finalised only if the buyer has enough BidaiCoin and the transaction occurs immediately. IAC is waiting for the legislation to be prepared by the Agriculture and Digital Development ministries and hoping to implement the coin in the first half of 2020.

More than 70 companies from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan received awards from National Business Rating in a ceremony in Nur-Sultan, reported inbusiness.kz Nov. 13. The awards, given to leading companies in industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, financial services, trade, construction, manufacturing, advertising and hospitality, are based on an analysis of business performance indicators, signs of financial success and reputation among customers. Uzbek Ambassador Saidikrom Niyazkhodjaev and Duslyk Ethnocultural Centre Deputy Chairperson and Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan member Hassan Sharipov attended the ceremony.

Kazakh businesspeople speaking at the third Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) forum Nov. 18 talked about developing business using digital technologies, reported kursiv.kz. More than 700 individuals hoping to become businesspeople attended the event. The invited speakers represented prominent Kazakh businesses such as BI Group (construction) Board Chairperson Aydin Rakhimbayev, who initiated the forum; Bilim Media Group (digital education) founder Rauan Kenzhekhanuly; Chocofamily Holding (e-commerce) co-founder Ramil Mukhoryapov and Freedom Holding Corp. (retail brokerage and investment banking) head Timur Turlov. They spoke about how their businesses grew and the way digital technologies and working online help them achieve their goals.