Economic news in brief

Almaty showed a positive trend in all sectors of the city’s economy in 2019. The gross regional product per capita grew 4.8 percent and investments in fixed assets, 8.5 percent. Retail trade grew 12.1 percent; transport and warehousing, 11.9 percent; housing construction, 4.8 percent; industry, 4.5 percent and construction, 3.4 percent. Almaty attracted more than 820 billion tenge (US$2.16 billion) in investments, an 8.3-percent increase, of which 620 billion tenge (US$1.64 billion) were private. More than 47,000 jobs have been created, including more than 35,000 by business entities and 12,000 under state programmes.

The Kazakh National Bank will develop a draft 2030 Monetary Policy Strategy by the end of the first quarter of 2020, announced chairperson Yerbolat Dossayev during the Jan. 24 expanded government meeting. The financial regulator will implement the strategy in two stages. The first stage will be synchronised with the 2025 national strategic plan; the second will focus on long-term tasks to fully implement policy inflation targeting.

Kazakhstan will reduce state participation in entrepreneurial activity with the new amendments to the draft Law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts on Improving the Business Climate,” reported inform.kz. The amendments should eliminate competition barriers. “Market entities with state participation can be created in the activities of state monopoly, ensuring national security and the state’s defence capabilities and the use of strategic facilities, as well as the insufficient level of development of competition determined by the analysis of the relevant product market,” said National Economy Deputy Minister Zhaslan Madiyev during the Jan. 23 bill presentation in the Majilis (lower house of Parliament).

The Kazkosmos Aerospace Committee completed space monitoring services in 2019 to address 32 industry tasks in four state bodies. The committee conducted continuous monitoring of arable land and created digital farmland vector maps. ​​Digitised agricultural land occupies more than 33 million hectares, of which 19.4 million are defined as arable land, 12.4 million as deposits and 1.6 million as hayfields, according to the report. Kazkosmos also monitored the municipal solid waste accumulated in 17 large cities. It identified more than 10,000 natural dump formations within 50 kilometres of city borders, as well as violations of the licensed dump boundaries. To improve land use efficiency, the government plans to fully integrate the automated information system data with the state land cadastre.

As of Jan. 1, Unified Accumulation Pension Fund (UAPF) pension assets totalled 10.8 trillion tenge (US$28.53 billion), according to its investment activity review. The weighted average yield to maturity of debt financial instruments in the fund’s investment portfolio reached 7.1 percent per annum, including 8.7 percent per annum in tenge and 3.2 percent per annum in foreign currency. The main share (40.45 percent) of the UAPF pension assets portfolio is in government securities, where the value decreased by 19.19 billion tenge (US$50.69 million) during the reporting month to 4.37 trillion tenge (US$11.54 billion). The cost of foreign government securities totalled 1.24 trillion tenge (US$3.28 billion), or an 11.44-percent share of the portfolio.

The Ministry of Energy has suspended exports of Kazakh oil to China. The results of Jan. 16 oil quality tests indicated an excess of organochlorine compounds in the fraction boiling up to 204 degrees Celsius in Kaztransoil’s trunk pipeline system when receiving oil from CPNC-Aktobemunaigas. The same day, oil reception from CNPC-Aktobemunaigas was stopped until the quality issues of the delivered oil were settled, reported the ministry. The decrease in exported oil reached 30,900 tonnes, with a plan of 34,600 tonnes.