Economic news in brief

The Kazakh banks which received 654 billion tenge (US$1.72 billion) from the state will be able to return the money ahead of schedule, reported finprom.kz. The banking sector is stable and characterised by a decrease in the level of non-performing loans and excess liquidity, as well as moderate lending. Positive recovery dynamics began in 2017 and since that time, the banks’ equity has increased more than 30 percent. In addition, a decrease in problem loans has led to a four-fold increase in bank capital to cover them. The banks have more than 10 trillion tenge (US$26.41 billion) of free liquidity, or 40 percent of assets.

Kazakhstan’s air traffic reached a record high number of passengers from January-November 2019. The country’s airlines transported 7.9 million people, a 7.5-percent increase year-on-year (yoy), and their revenues increased 16 percent per year. According to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development, Kazakh airports provided services for 14.8 million passengers in the first ten months of 2019 and expected the indicator to reach 16 million. The ministry has forecast air traffic will increase 6.6 percent in 2020. Kazakhstan introduced an open sky regime in November at 11 domestic airports; as a result, airlines such as LOT Polish Airlines (Poland), Air Asia (Malaysia), Belavia (Belarus), Jazeera Airways (Kuwait) and Salam Air (Oman) should soon open new flights.

Kazakhstan’s electricity consumption increased 2 percent in 2019, reported energyprom.kz. Electricity generation during the same period decreased 0.4 percent. In January-November, the country’s electricity production was 96.7 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), a 0.4 percent decrease per year. In monetary terms, electricity production, transmission and distribution for the period decreased to 1.4 trillion tenge (US$3.7 billion). In 2018, electricity production reached 107.3 billion kWh, a 4-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). According to the Ministry of Energy, Kazakhstan’s 138 electric power plants produce 21,673 megawatts. The majority of stations (69.7 percent) generate energy from coal, 20 percent from gas, 9 percent from hydroelectric power plants (excluding small plants) and 1.3 percent from renewable sources (including small hydroelectric power stations).

Approximately 2,300 large and 6,000 medium-sized companies were operating in Kazakhstan at the end of November 2019. In the first three quarters of the year, large and medium-sized enterprises manufactured products and rendered services worth 9.2 trillion tenge (US$24.3 billion), a 5.7-percent increase year-on-year (yoy), and represented 20.7 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Atyrau Region, with 1.9 trillion tenge (US$5.02 billion) or 20.7 percent of the total, had the largest production volume in the sector. Almaty and Nur-Sultan were also included in the top three regions, producing 1.7 trillion (US$4.49 billion) and 1.5 trillion tenge (US$3.96 billion), respectively. The trio comprise 55.9 percent of the country’s output. Large and medium-sized mining companies account for 2.4 trillion tenge (US$6.34 billion) or a 26-percent share, the largest product and services volume in the sector. The figure, however, was a 7.6-percent decrease per year.