09ASTANA814, KAZAKHSTAN: ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, APRIL 12-APRIL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA814 2009-05-07 11:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

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INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1564
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0941
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1644
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0626
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 1126
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 1042
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1497

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000814 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/CARC, EEB/ESC 
PLEASE PASS TO USTDA DAN STEIN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON EPET EINV EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, APRIL 12-APRIL 
25 
 
ASTANA 00000814  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press and has not been verified for accuracy. 
 
-- Financial Sector News 
-- Updates from Samruk-Kazyna 
-- CICA the Precursor of an Asian G-20? 
-- Kazatomprom President Rumored to Have Fled the Country 
-- Budget Control Committee Accuses Energy Ministry 
 
 
FINANCIAL SECTOR NEWS 
 
2.  On July 1, 2009, the Financial Supervision Agency (FSA) will 
increase the minimum capital requirements for banks operating in 
Almaty to 5 billion tenge (approximately $33.2 million) and 2 or 3 
billion tenge (about $13.3 million or $19.9 million respectively) 
for regional banks.  FSA Chair  Yelena Bakhmutova explained that 
banks which cannot meet new capital requirements should consider 
moving from Almaty to provide financial services in the regions. 
 
3.  Speaking at a conference organized by the Fitch Ratings Agency, 
Bakhmutova said that starting January 1, 2010, commercial banks that 
do not have large stockholders, or are not subsidiaries of large 
parent banks, will not be allowed to hold deposits for private 
individuals. 
 
4.  According to the FSA, the total net loss of Kazakhstan's 
commercial banks was 296.6 billion tenge (approximately $1.97 
billion) in the first quarter of 2009, compared to 27.6 billion 
tenge (about $183.4 million) in the same period the previous year. 
As of April 1, 2009, the loan portfolio of Kazakhstani banks reached 
10,254.6 billion tenge ($68.1 billion), marking a 0.1 percent 
decrease over March 2009.  The structure of the loan portfolio was 
the following:  35.5% standard loans (42.9% as of January 1, 2009), 
57.8% doubtful loans (52.6% in January), and 6.7% bad loans (4.4% in 
January).  Foreign currency loans accounted for 59.8% of the total 
loan portfolio. 
 
5.  The FSA reported that Kazakhstani-based insurance organizations 
collected premiums of 25 billion tenge (approximately $166 million) 
in the first quarter of 2009, marking a 42.8% decline year-on-year. 
Mandatory insurance premiums grew by 7 percent compared to the same 
period last year and reached 6 billion tenge (about $39.87 million); 
voluntary private insurance declined by 11.3 percent to 5.5 billion 
tenge (approximately $36.5 million); and voluntary property 
insurance also fell by 57.5 percent to 13.5 billion tenge ($89.7 
million).  Premiums for voluntary property insurance represented the 
largest share (53.9%) of total insurance premiums. 
 
UPDATES FROM SAMRUK-KAZYNA 
 
6.  According to the head of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund 
Kairat Kelimbetov, state-owned companies face repayments of $2 
billion in external debt in 2009.  The overall external debt of 
companies owned by Samruk-Kazyna is $16 billion: KazMunaiGas 
reportedly owes $11.2 billion (70% of the total debt), Kazakhstan's 
railway operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy has foreign debt of $1.1 
billion (7%), and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan owes $1.6 
billion in external debt (10%).  (NOTE:  $16 billion equals 
approximately 14.3% of the forecast GDP for 2009.  END NOTE.) 
 
7.  The Distressed Assets Fund (DAF), which was established under 
the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, will start working with 
commercial banks in the second half of 2009, Samruk-Kazyna's 
Kelimbetov said.  In his words, the DAF is currently determining 
possibilities to buy the distressed assets of small and medium-sized 
businesses and large production companies. 
 
CICA THE PRECURSOR OF AN ASIAN G-20? 
 
8.  President Nazarbayev said that the Conference on Interaction and 
Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) offers a solid 
 
ASTANA 00000814  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
foundation for the creation of a "Group of Asian Twenty." 
Nazarbayev shared this idea at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, 
China.  According to Nazarbayev, the global community must radically 
change its existing financial systems, with no single financial 
center.  The new financial system would then become the basis for a 
new geopolitical world order, said Nazarbayev. 
 
KAZATOMPROM PRESIDENT RUMORED TO HAVE FLED COUNTRY 
 
9.  According to an April 16 article in opposition newspaper
Svoboda 
Slova, Astana Group president Nurlan Smagulov dismissed rumors that 
his friend Mukhtar Zhakishev, president of Kazatomprom, fled the 
country to avoid prosecution.  Tatyana Kvyatkovskaya, a member of 
the ruling Nur Otan party, had accused Zhakishev of selling old 
uranium mines to former BTA Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov for $1.5 
million, who later resold them to a foreign company for $350 
million.  Zhakishev is reportedly undergoing medical treatment in 
Europe.  Svoboda Slova in turn argued that such a sale could not 
have happened without the permission of former Minister of Energy 
and Mineral Resources Vladimir Shkolnik (who is currently Minister 
of Industry and Trade). 
 
BUDGET CONTROL COMMITTEE ACCUSES ENERGY MINISTRY OF VIOLATIONS 
 
10.  On April 14, the National Budget Control Committee accused the 
Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of "financial violations" 
amounting to 15.2 billion tenge ($101.33 million) incurred between 
2006 and 2008.  These violations include fines which were not 
charged and therefore not collected, and funds allocated from the 
national budget but not used by the Ministry. 
 
MILAS

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