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News: Thursday, May 18, 2017 -- Issue 2739 http://www.newsline.kz/rss/

Article of the Day

Kazakh Pension Fund lost in Azerbaijan venture
    Kazakhstan’s beleaguered state pensions fund has found itself the target of a fresh bout of public indignation after losing hundreds of millions in a doomed Azerbaijani investment, EurasiaNet.org reported.
    Privately run broadcaster KTK reported this week that managers at the Single Accumulated Savings Fund, or ENPF in its Russian initials, sunk around 70 billion tenge ($224 million) into the International Bank of Azerbaijan. This lender has recently cited liquidity issues as grounds for failing to respect its international liabilities and filed for bankruptcy.
    Members of parliament are livid and have accused pension fund managers of incompetence, particularly since there had previously been warnings that the Azerbaijani bank was in trouble.
    As economist Rahim Oshakbayev explained, the ENPF acquired bonds issued by the International Bank of Azerbaijan in October 2014, a full five months after an international ratings agency had downgraded the papers to Ba3, a high-risk speculative category. Oshakbayev said that even at the time analysts were warning against the investment, deeming the bonds essentially junk. The bank was downgraded even further, to B1, in February, a move that presaged its inevitable default. All the same, the ENPF stuck to its guns.
    The former chairman of the Association of Pension Funds, Aidar Alibayev, told KTK that the likelihood is high that the money invested by ENPF will be lost for good as the whole process has gone too far down the road.
    Oshakbayev was coruscating about the ENPF, arguing that the fund’s managers appear to have trouble just holding onto financial assets, let alone expanding them. He estimates that around 20 percent of the ENPF’s capital has been waylaid into junk investments.
    The ENPF is bumbling from one scandal to another.
    Several members of the fund’s previous top management team were arrested in December. The Almaty city court said the executives were accused of embezzlement and misuse of the fund’s assets.
    Reported by KazWorld.

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Kazakhstan General

Kazakhstan approves $100 mln to Kyrgyzstan for integration to EEU
    The Kazakh Parliament's lower house has ratified the agreement on the allocation of $100 million to Kyrgyzstan as an assistance for a country to adapt to ...
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Cold and rainy weather persist in Kazakhstan
    Ground frost will persist in the northern regions of the country on May 18-20, while rains will strike southern parts on these days.
    According to Kazhydromet, ...
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"Azerbaijan - pearl of the Islamic world" expo opens in Astana
    The exhibition “Azerbaijan - Pearl of the Islamic World” has opened at Kazakhstan’s National Museum.
    More than 50 photographers put on display their works at the exhibition. ...
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Expo-2017

Kazakhstan TV Channel to be host broadcaster of EXPO-2017 in Astana
    The Republican Television and Radio Company "Kazakhstan" JSC will be the official host broadcaster of the upcoming International specialized exhibition "EXPO-2017" in Astana, Kazinform has learned ...
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EXPO 2017 ASTANA: Foton Motor becomes the sole designated vehicle supplier of China pavilion
    On May 12, 2017, "Foton Motor Group Signing Ceremony as Expo 2017 Astana -- China Pavilion Sponsor" was held at the headquarters of Foton Motor Group. ...
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USA to celebrate July memorial day at the Expo
    On the 4th of July, the US will celebrate its Independence Day as part of the Astana EXPO 2017. This was announced by the US ambassador ...
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Oil and Gas Sector

Kazakh trade union leader jailed
    Kazakh court on May 16, 2017, sentenced a trade union leader to two years in prison on politically motivated embezzlement charges, Human Rights Watch said today. ...
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Kazakh Energy Minister announces forecast of oil production at large fields
    The Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Kanat Bozumbayev named the forecasted volumes of oil production at the three large deposits of Kazakhstan in 2017, Kazinform reports.
    "This ...
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Authorities apprehend “petromafiosi” in Kazakhstan
    Footage of the special operation conducted by the National Security Committee jointly with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyzylorda region, to curb the activities of ...
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Astana gasification project cost announced
    Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev has announced the cost of construction of Saryarka gas pipeline, Kazinform correspondent reports.
    "KazTransGas company has made a technical feasibility study of ...
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Rosneftegaz clarifies reasons for 2016 financial loss
    Russia’s state-owned holding Rosneftegaz reported citing the annual financials under the Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) that its profit from business transactions amounted to 596 bln rubles ...
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Europe’s refiners must stay nimble to avoid margin squeeze
    Europe’s oil refiners will have to carefully manage production, possibly even turning to diesel, to sustain margins as high oil product inventories and uncertain gasoline demand ...
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Oil prices dip as supply remains ample despite output cuts
    Oil prices dipped on Thursday, weighed down by plentiful supply despite ongoing efforts led by OPEC to tighten the market by cutting production.
    Brent crude was down ...
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Energy Industry

Fire broke out at TPP in Ust-Kamenogorsk
    In Ust-Kamenogorsk, a fire broke out on the territory of the thermal power station, Kazpravda.kz reports.
    "The roof of water grading building about 400 square meters, plastic ...
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Finance and Investment

Kazakhstan’s economy has bottomed out, now searching for new sources of growth
    Kazakhstan’s economic growth is projected to accelerate in 2017, owing to higher oil prices and oil production, says the World Bank’s latest Kazakhstan Economic Update.
    According to ...
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Samruk-Kazyna overcame crisis period – Shukeyev
    The SamrukKazyna group of companies has overcome crisis moments, according to CEO of the Fund Umirzak Shukeyev.
    “Financial situation in SamrukKazyna is stable enough and nothing ...
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Financing of joint Kazakh-Chinese projects discussed in Beijing
    Ambassador of Kazakhstan to China Shakhrat Nuryshev met with CEO of the Silk Road Fund Ms Jin Qi in Beijing to discuss financing of bilateral industrial ...
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S&P does not forecast considerable tenge weakening in 2017
    S&P Global Ratings does not forecast considerable weakening of tenge in 2017, reports the rating afency.
    “We do not anticipate significant further tenge depreciation over 2017, in ...
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Kazakhstan's debt-to-GDP ratio is 24.6%
    Kazakhstan's debt-to-GDP ratio is 24.6%, Minister of National Economy said.
    In monetary terms, Kazakhstan's debt amounts to 12.3 trillion tenge ($39.3 billion), Minister Timur Suleimenov said at ...
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Kazkommertsbank to become affiliated bank of Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan
    Accession of Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan in the capital of Kazkommertsbank (KKB) in case of conclusion of earlier announced bargain is planned through acquisition of a ...
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KASE day session: USDKZT_TOD = 313.25
    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 with settlements ...
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Metals and Minerals

Mining starts at new Kazakhstan chrome deposit
    Ferrochrome producer Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) has started mining a new chrome deposit with mineable reserves of more than three-million tonnes.
    Located within the site of Kazakhstan's ...
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Central Asia Metals given new GBX 270 price target at Peel Hunt
    Central Asia Metals Ltd (LON:CAML) had its price target raised by Peel Hunt from GBX 255 ($3.29) to GBX 270 ($3.49) in a research report released ...
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London copper slips on worries over Trump as nickel, zinc strengthen
    Nickel and zinc rebounded on Wednesday after steel prices jumped while nickel also received a boost from news that output at a Canadian mine would be ...
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Gold rises to two-week high amid Trump concerns
    Gold hit a two-week high on Wednesday as Asian stocks slipped and the dollar fell amid political uncertainty after a source said U.S. President Donald Trump ...
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Coal exporters should fret as China, India become policy-driven markets: Russell
    Coal exporters may be feeling more comfortable about their future, as they see both reasonable demand from Asia's top importers and prices which appear to be ...
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Spot uranium prices experience correction
    The spot uranium market ran into a fair bit of pressure last week, with industry consultant TradeTech’s weekly spot price indicator losing 5.3% to reach $21.25/lb. ...
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Trade and Consumer Goods

In 2017, Kazakhstan to plant agricultural crops throughout almost 21 mln ha
    In 2017, Kazakhstan plans to plant agricultural crops throughout nearly 21 mln ha, including 15 mln ha of grain crops, declared the press-service of the Prime ...
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Kazakhstan: as of May 1, grain stocks totaled over 9 mln tonnes
    As of May 1, 2017, the registered carry-over stocks of grains and pulses in Kazakhstan totaled 9.149 mln tonnes. In particular, peasant and farming households stored ...
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Kazakhstan. precipitation hampers spring planting but favours winter crops
    In late April above-zero average air temperatures (+ 12-16ºÑ) were registered in the south and south-east of Kazakhstan, where winter wheat is cultivated. Precipitation rates were ...
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Kyrgyzstan can export up to 200,000 tons of meat, 80,000 tons of beans annually: Food Ministry
    Kyrgyzstan can export up to 200,000 tons of meat and 80,000 tons of beans annually, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Land Reclamation ...
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Communications and Transportation

China Telecom launches 100G service on Asia-Europe route
    China Telecom Global (CTG) has launched a 100G service capability via its terrestrial cable system between Asia and Europe in collaboration with Russian operators. The service ...
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Kazakh air and rail carriers’ annual income is up
    In the 4 months of 2017, rail transport carried 20 000 passengers less than during the same term last year. At the same time, the number ...
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Kazakhstan increasing production and export of motor vehicles
    Kazakhstan’s automobile manufacturer LLP SaryarkaAvtoProm is expanding the line of motor vehicles produced and increasing exports. This was said during the visit of the Prime Minister ...
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People and Professional Development

Merkel appointed a member of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan
    First Deputy Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Johann Merkel was dismissed from the post to be appointed as a member of the Constitutional Council of the Republic ...
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Education and Science

Kazakhstani teachers, schoolchildren learn about dangers of radicalisation
    About 5,500 schoolchildren and more than 300 teachers from Pavlodar Province on May 5 attended Kazakhstan's first-ever large-scale online conference on fighting extremism and terrorism.
    The ...
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Regional News

Chinese key manufacturing projects to get funding assistance
    More effort will be made to raise funds for key manufacturing projects, after China made a series of breakthroughs in equipment development for aviation and other ...
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UN experts improve Russian economic outlook, note success of import substitution programme
    UN experts have improved their outlook for the Russian economy, forecasting the 1.5-percent GDP growth in 2017 in their mid-year update of the World Economic Situation ...
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Russian mining companies to face new land restoration rules
    Russian mining companies will have to introduce new technologies in coming years to restore soil at depleted deposits instead of using ineffective practices. Today the total ...
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Planes, trains and grains top Russia-Iranian trade ties
    Tehran is on track to tap a significant share of the Russian grain export market once prices drop 20-30%, Russian Trade representative to Iran, Andrey Lugansky, ...
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Uzbekistan imports Kyrgyz potatoes to reduce prices
    The price for potatoes in the Uzbek market fell in connection with import of potatoes from Kyrgyzstan.
    One kg of potatoes in Tashkent is sold for ...
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182 people hospitalised in Uzbekistan after eating ice cream
    Hundreds of people turned to hospital in Shahrihan district of Andijan region with poisoning after eating ice cream on May 15, reports say.
    At least 300 ...
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International brands rush to Azerbaijan
    Over 30 franchise brands will be presented at the First International Franchise Exhibition BUYBRAND Transcaucasia scheduled for June 2-3 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
    Such catering brands as Shokoladnitsa, ...
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Chinese YTO tractors to be assembled in Azerbaijan
    Chinese YTO tractors will be assembled in Azerbaijan`s Gusar region as local company Stocking and Supply of Food Products signed a MoU with YTO Group Corporation ...
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Afghanistan: six dead in ISIL attack on Jalalabad TV station
    At least six people, including a police officer, have been killed after assailants wearing suicide vests stormed a national television and radio station in the eastern ...
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Prices and Statistics

Commodities
    

Date: May 18, 2017; Source: Bloomberg.com

Energy

Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EDT) 2 Day
USD/bbl. 48.91 -0.16 -0.33% Jun 2017 1:00 AM
USD/bbl. 52.03 -0.18 -0.34% Jul 2017 1:00 AM
USd/gal. 159.91 -0.36 -0.22% Jun 2017 12:59 AM
USD/MMBtu 3.20 +0.01 +0.31% Jun 2017 12:58 AM
USd/gal. 153.08 -0.27 -0.18% Jun 2017 12:44 AM
 
Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EDT) 2 Day
USD/t oz. 1,260.00 +1.30 +0.10% Jun 2017 12:59 AM
USD/t oz. 1,259.48 -1.88 -0.15% N/A 1:09 AM
USD/t oz. 16.85 -0.06 -0.36% Jul 2017 12:59 AM
USd/lb. 252.45 -2.20 -0.86% Jul 2017 12:59 AM
USD/t oz. 941.90 -4.50 -0.48% N/A 1:09 AM
Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EDT) 2 Day
USd/bu. 368.75 -2.75 -0.74% Jul 2017 12:59 AM
USd/bu. 425.75 -1.25 -0.29% Jul 2017 12:59 AM
USD/MT 2,054.00 +20.00 +0.98% Jul 2017 5/17/2017
USd/lb. 80.45 +0.28 +0.35% Jul 2017 12:59 AM
USd/lb. 118.83 +0.58 +0.49% Aug 2017 5/17/2017
 

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Exchange Rates
    

Date: May 18, 2017; Source: the National Bank of Kazakhstan

1 USD KZT 313.18 1 CHF

KZT 318.43

1 CNY

KZT 45.46

1 TRY KZT 88.01 1 JPY KZT 2.79
1 EUR

KZT 347.47

1 AUD

KZT 231.75

1 KGS KZT 4.63 100 UZS KZT 8.27 1 BYN KZT 168.92
1 GBP KZT 405.38 1 CAD KZT 230.06 1 RUB KZT 5.52 100 KRW KZT 27.99 1 UAH KZT 11.86

 

 

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