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News: Friday, May 05, 2017 -- Issue 2732 http://www.newsline.kz/rss/

Note From the Editor

Happy Victory Day!
    Dear Valued Members,
    Kazakhstan Newsline would like to wish you and your families a Happy Victory Day!
    Due to the holidays, the next edition of the Kazakhstan Newsline daily digest will next be published on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
    Enjoy the holidays!
    The Kazakhstan Newsline Team

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Article of the Day

China's One Belt, One Road strategy: big dream, not a conspiracy
    There's much ado about nothing when it comes to One Belt, One Road (also known as the Belt & Road, or B&R) initiative that Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced in 2013 during a state trip to Kazakhstan.
    Beijing pledged to spend more than $1 trillion dollars to build major infrastructure projects for countries signed up in the regions — Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, Oceania and Central Asia.
    The initiative would benefit participating member states since China would aid sovereign governments to build logistics hubs — roads, railways, ports, bridges and airports; manufacturing parks; energy zones with power plants and new financial centers.
    The projects are costly and could take decades to build, but it's a win-win for companies going global on trade and investments. There will be an easier flow of transporting goods, people can move at greater convenience and less hassle to exchange foreign currencies when signing cross-border business deals.
    China and Chinese companies are expected to profit most of all, since Beijing can reduce its overcapacity glut of steel, and Chinese contractors get top priority on building key infrastructure for other countries.
    But considering that Beijing is the biggest investor of the Belt & Road, they deserve the right to determine the over-all rules, so long as other countries agree to their terms. And if there's disagreement, then the project can get built in another country that would want it even more.
    It makes pragmatic sense, for China to invest so heavily in global infrastructure projects and expect some a return on investment.
    For example, CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) envisions a bold plan to open up new factories, power plants and medical centers on Pakistan side of the border. Chinese companies will receive generous long-term rental fees and low to zero tax rates for the next 30 years.
    Nonetheless, "Pakistan First" economic nationalists have denounced the deal as a land grab for China, but they are overlooking the simple fact that without CPEC, Pakistan has no sufficient FDI (foreign direct investments) to transform its long-dormant economic conditions for truly sustainable development in the long-term.
    Hence, construction of CPEC remains stalled with unnecessary bureaucratic delays and appears unlikely to come to fruition anytime soon.
    Beijing is learning a hard lesson that no good deed goes unpunished. CPEC offers a grand opportunity for Pakistani companies to succeed as they can conduct more business with China.
    But Pakistani politicians, journalists and activists remain suspicious of Beijing's motives. Conspiracy theories have been swirling that the B&R will force sovereign governments to bow down to China forevermore.
    Instead of seeing the economic benefits, the anti-B&R crowd has concluded it’s better for countries not to build infrastructure if the Chinese are involved, no matter how generous the terms of an agreement are.
    China's Belt & Road offers mutual benefits for all participating nations. If you need more railways lines to export rail freight abroad then give China a call. The AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) was set up by Beijing to serve as a finance-funding mechanism to build major infrastructure projects.
    64 members states have enrolled in the AIIB, but the United States and Japan have not signed on yet. US President Donald Trump could negotiate a better trade deal by jumping on board, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe can reduce Sino-Japan tensions with his signature as well.
    President Trump has also pledged to rebuild America's infrastructure, but it would cost over $1 trillion. The AIIB can provide much-needed capital for American builders who are shovel-ready.
    This month, the Chinese government will host the Belt & Road Forum, inviting government and business leaders from all over the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend.
    Power brokers and high-level government officials can discuss the benefits and risks of the so-called New Silk Road, while Beijing must address concerns the project was launched with devious motives.
    The anti-China conspiracy theorists will never change their negative views on the B&R, but other governments with more neutral positions can attend the forum and discover for themselves if the Belt & Road is the right deal for them.
    And when you think about it, the B&R comes down to a simple question: do you want the Chinese to build high-speed railways for your country or not?
    By Tom McGregor for Sputniknews.

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Kazakhstan General

Regional powers agree on Syria 'de-escalation zones'
    Russia, Iran and Turkey have signed a deal calling for the setup of so-called de-escalation zones in war-torn Syria during talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.
    The signing ...
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Centre of Cultures and Religions strengthens interfaith harmony, patriotism
    Twenty foreign and five Kazakh participants representing leaders of world and traditional religions and international organisations dealing with issues in the field will get together in ...
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Windy weather forecast for Kazakhstan on Friday
    Rains are forecast to douse northern parts of Kazakhstan today. Meteorologists predict that other regions of the country will enjoy fair weather. Gusty wind and dust ...
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Armed attack on truck committed in Karaganda region
    On May 3, on a Karaganda region’s road, an armed attack was made on a truck, Zakon.kz reports with reference to the press service of Karaganda ...
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Expo-2017

EXPO 2017: Finding the energy for increased cooperation
    Kazakhstan's quarter century of bilateral relations with the United States has been positive and productive, forging a partnership that is making a difference across a range ...
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Prosecutors gift Expo 2017 tickets to Great Patriotic War veterans
    Zhambyl region prosecutors visited the Great Patriotic War veterans in the run-up to celebration of 72nd Anniversary of Victory, Kazinform reports with reference to the press-service ...
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Dance parade to greet guests of EXPO-2017 in Astana
    A parade of professional dancers will greet guests of the upcoming International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana every day, Kazinform correspondent reports.
    150 dancers were selected ...
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Oil and Gas Sector

Condor provides operations update
    Condor Petroleum Inc. ("Condor" or the "Company") (TSX: CPI), a Canadian based oil and gas company focused on exploration and production activities in Turkey and Kazakhstan, ...
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Shell’s profit surges as oil sector rebounds
    The Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest investors in Kazakhstan’s upstream sector, said net profit more than doubled in the first quarter, joining its peers ...
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Russia ready to extend oil production cut agreement with OPEC — minister
    Russia is ready to extend the oil production cut agreement with OPEC, according to the Russian Energy Ministry.
    "Now we are holding final negotiations on this topic ...
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Libyan oil supply risk supports Mediterranean grades
    Libya’s intermittent and risky crude production has offset an ample supply in the Mediterranean and supported prices for some of the light sweet oil grades in ...
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Oil prices pinned near five-month low as supply glut weighs
    Oil prices fell further on Friday to be mired at five-month lows after tumbling in the previous session, as concerns about global oversupply wiped out all ...
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Putin orders Gazprom to start laying pipes along Turkish Stream’s sea route
    Gazprom will be ready to start laying pipes on the Turkish Stream offshore section in several days, the company's CEO Alexei Miller told Russian President Vladimir ...
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With nod from Bulgaria, EC might close antitrust case against Gazprom amid resistance
    The deadline for East European market players to submit their feedback on Gazprom’s proposals to the European Commission on its antimonopoly case expires on May 4. ...
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Finance and Investment

Fitch Ratings affirms Kazakhstan’s BBB rating
    Fitch Ratings has confirmed Kazakhstan’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR), evaluating it at BBB with stable outlooks. The issue ratings on the state’s ...
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Diplomats get acquainted with new Kazakh investment strategy
    The draft project of the National Investment Strategy was presented to the diplomatic corps and foreign businessmen in Astana. The strategy will be adopted this year. ...
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IMF recommends Kazakhstan structural reforms in banking sector
    The IMF Regional Economic Outlook that comprises a number of recommendations for Central Asia countries has been presented in Almaty, Kazinform reports.
    "After hitting the bottom in ...
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Kazakhstan rallies equity investors for latest privatisation drive
    Kazakhstan is finally pushing ahead with its much-delayed privatisation programme, and the first companies will come to market early next year. That was the message from ...
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KASE day session: USDKZT_TOD = 315.78
    The day foreign currencies trading session ended on Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE).
    Based on results of trades on the spot-market:
    - weighted average US dollar rate ...
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Metals and Minerals

Ex-Chairman of Geology Committee to stay under arrest
    A court in Almaty city has sanctioned to extend the arrest of former Chairman of the Geology and Subsurface Management Committee Bazarbai Nurabayev until early June, ...
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Kazatomprom, KazNU establish centre for uranium industry professionals
    Kazatomprom, the country’s national atomic company, and Kanysh Satpayev Kazakh National University (KazNU) have established a scientific and educational nuclear centre where high-skilled professionals will be ...
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Evraz PLC lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research
    According to Zacks, “EVRAZ plc is involved in integrated steel, mining and vanadium business. The company’s principal activities consists of manufacturing steel and steel products, Iron ...
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Central Asia Metals Ltd. rating reiterated by FinnCap
    FinnCap restated their buy rating on shares of Central Asia Metals Ltd (LON:CAML) in a report published on Wednesday, April 19th. FinnCap currently has a GBX ...
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Polymetal International PLC (POLY) earns “Buy” rating from Panmure Gordon
    Panmure Gordon reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Polymetal International PLC (LON:POLY) in a research note published on Wednesday, April 19th. They currently have a ...
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KAZ Minerals analyst target changes
    A number of investment brokers have recently updated their price targets on shares of KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ). According to the latest broker reports outstanding on Thursday ...
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Copper edges up after overnight loss, still vulnerable
    London copper edged higher on Friday after a second session of losses, but remained vulnerable to further sell downs amid concerns about rising inventories and weakening ...
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UK miners, metal prices extend sell-off on mounting China concerns
    The UK mining sector fell sharply on Thursday as investors continue to fret about tighter monetary policy in China.The FTSE All Share mining index was set ...
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Gold hits 6-week low on Fed rate hike concerns
    Gold fell to a six-week low on Thursday as the dollar rose to a two-week high on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise interest ...
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Uranium price pressured but DOE move ccould mean near-term upside
    Uranium prices remain weak with TradeTech’s spot price indicator declining by $0.70 last week amid low interest for purchases. Uranium prices have collapsed since the 2011 ...
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Trade and Consumer Goods

Kazakhstan: planting of spring cereals delayed because of weather
    From April 11-20, warm weather with sufficient soil moisture content in the south and south-east of Kazakhstan was favorable for growth and development of winter wheat. ...
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Is there a chance for wheat price growth?
    The 2016/17 wheat season is already drawing to an end, while 2017-crop wheat sales, on the contrary, are gathering pace rapidly. Just two months are left ...
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UN ups wheat output hopes - as other analysts mull US, EU downgrades
    The United Nations flagged ideas of "ample" world grain supplies in 2017-18, as it raised its estimate for wheat stocks to a record high – although ...
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Wheat futures give back blizzard risk
    Wheat prices gave back all of the week's gains, as the result of a crop tour showed crop quality holding up after a recent blizzard.
    US wheat ...
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EAEU plans to reduce duty-free limit for imports
    The maximum cost of goods that can be imported into the territory of the EAEU for personal use might be lowered from ˆ1,500 to ˆ500, according ...
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Communications and Transportation

Kazakhstan begins to explore Belt & Road opportunities
    It was in Kazakhstan that the world first heard about a new initiative from China to recreate the ancient Silk Road trading routes. During his visit, ...
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Almaty - Moscow train route cancelled
    The railway companies of Kazakhstan and Russia agreed on cutting the route of Almaty-Moscow train, Kazpravda.kz reports with reference to the press service of the Passenger ...
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Newbuild dry cargo vessel “Atameken” left Nevsky Shipyard for the port of Aktau, Kazakhstan
    Nevsky Shipyard says a single-deck dry cargo vessel of the mixed “river-sea” navigation “Atameken” Project RSD49) left the shipyard’s territory on 27 April 2017 and went ...
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Polymedia’s award-winning integration for situation centre in Kazakhstan
    Polymedia Kazakhstan topped the Control Room category at the 2017 InAVation Awards with an ambitious project that helped a regional government understand and use huge amounts ...
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Real Estate

A group of men fraudulently selling land detained in Almaty
    The interdepartmental operational- investigation group of NSC and the Interior Affairs Department detained a group of individuals who for a long time had been illegally selling ...
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Regional News

China Tax reforms reap positive results for economic growth
    China's effort to reduce the corporate tax burden has played a positive role in boosting economic growth, experts said on Wednesday, calling on the government to ...
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China plans to annually import 1-2 mln tonnes of Russian wheat - COFCO
    According to the forecast of China's largest grain corporation COFCO, China will continue increasing the imports of Russian wheat at the level of nearly 1-2 mln ...
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MC-21, Russia's answer to Boeing and Airbus, rolls off assembly room floor
    The first flying prototype of the Ikrut MC-21, a Russian twin-engine short-mid-range jet airliner with a capacity of 150-211 passengers, has left the assembly room floor, ...
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Poll shows social capital key to helping Russians weather economic crises
    Economic difficulties compel people to rely mainly on themselves and their "social capital" relationships with relatives, friends and acquaintances. At the same time, the more social ...
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Recent trade fair heralds deepening Uzbekistan-Tajikistan ties
    For the first time in 25 years of independence, Tajikistan hosted a trade fair of Uzbekistan's exports.
    Observers are hailing a recently concluded Uzbekistani trade fair in ...
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SOCAR OKs Total's programme to develop Azerbaijani gas field
    Azerbaijan’s state company SOCAR approved the programme for the development of the Absheron gas condensate field in the Caspian Sea presented by French Total.
    "The programme for ...
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Three US troops wounded in suicide bombing by ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan
    Three U.S. service members were wounded Wednesday in the capital city of Afghanistan when the NATO convoy they were traveling in was attacked by a suicide ...
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Prices and Statistics

Commodities
    

Date: May 5, 2017; Source: Bloomberg.com

Energy

Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EDT) 2 Day
USD/bbl. 44.23 -1.29 -2.83% Jun 2017 1:27 AM
USD/bbl. 47.16 -1.22 -2.52% Jul 2017 1:27 AM
USd/gal. 145.77 -2.35 -1.59% Jun 2017 1:26 AM
USD/MMBtu 3.19 +0.00 +0.03% Jun 2017 1:27 AM
USd/gal. 138.72 -2.51 -1.78% Jun 2017 1:26 AM
 
Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EDT) 2 Day
USD/t oz. 1,232.90 +4.30 +0.35% Jun 2017 1:27 AM
USD/t oz. 1,235.09 +6.93 +0.56% N/A 1:37 AM
USD/t oz. 16.42 +0.11 +0.69% Jul 2017 1:27 AM
USd/lb. 250.80 -0.35 -0.14% Jul 2017 1:25 AM
USD/t oz. 908.36 +4.74 +0.52% N/A 1:37 AM
Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EDT) 2 Day
USd/bu. 367.50 +1.00 +0.27% Jul 2017 1:26 AM
USd/bu. 436.50 -1.25 -0.29% Jul 2017 1:26 AM
USD/MT 1,839.00 +59.00 +3.31% Jul 2017 5/4/2017
USd/lb. 78.68 -0.23 -0.29% Jul 2017 1:26 AM
USd/lb. 131.30 +1.25 +0.96% Jun 2017 5/4/2017
 

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Exchange Rates
    

Date: May 5, 2017; Source: the National Bank of Kazakhstan

1 USD KZT 315.68 1 CHF

KZT 318.51

1 CNY

KZT 45.79

1 TRY KZT 89.04 1 JPY KZT 2.8
1 EUR

KZT 345.04

1 AUD

KZT 234.01

1 KGS KZT 4.68 100 UZS KZT 8.46 1 BYN KZT 168.05
1 GBP KZT 407.1 1 CAD KZT 230.36 1 RUB KZT 5.48 100 KRW KZT 27.84 1 UAH KZT 11.93

 

 

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