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Memos worth $3B signed at ATYRAU INVEST 2017

The Akimat (administration) of Atyrau region and investors signed nine memorandums worth $3.3 billion during the ATYRAU INVEST 2017 International Investment Forum.

More than 500 delegates from Kazakhstan and 20 neighbouring countries and beyond participated and the forum was the most financially successful in its five-year history, say organisers.

Akim (governor) of Atyrau region Nurlan Nogayev noted that apart from attracting investment, such events improve SME development in the region.

“Following the results of 2016, the number of people working in SMEs increased by 7.9 percent and exceeded 128,000 people. It means that 41 percent of the economically active population is engaged in that sphere. Such events give an impulse to development of local entrepreneurs and open new horizons for them,” Nogayev said.

Over the past couple of years, the Atyrau region has led Kazakh regions in attracting investment. In 2016, the volume of investment was 2 trillion tenge (US$6.4 billion), of which more than 1 trillion tenge (US$3.2 billion) was outward investment.

The fourth ATYRAU INVEST 2017 coincided with Global Oil & Gas Atyrau 2017 that brought together representatives from 103 companies from 20 countries. (kapital.kz)


Kazakhstan to open railway station, air terminal in Astana in May

Construction of a new railway station and a new air terminal in Astana will be completed in May, Kazakhstan’s Investment and Development Minister Zhenis Kassymbek told parliamentarians in a government meeting April 10.

The new railway station will serve 35,000 passengers per day, the Kazakh Investment and Development Ministry said in a message April 10. Together with the old railway station, the figure will reach 48,800 passengers per day.

The project to construct a new air terminal and reconstruct Astana airport’s runway will be completed May 15. The project also includes new parking areas, engineering infrastructure and landscaping. The new facilities will allow the airport to serve more than 7.5 million passengers per year. (mid.gov.kz)


Army readiness at good level, Nazarbayev says

President Nursultan Nazarbayev was presented with reports on the current state of the Armed Forces and the implementation of the tasks assigned to the army.

“Both in winter and in summer military exercises were conducted, the army’s readiness is at a good level, there is an improvement in discipline,” said the President, adding the need to continue working.

Nazarbayev noted efforts to re-equip the army with updated weapons and military equipment, the status of the social security of servicemen, issues of territorial security and the development of air defense systems.

Kazakh Minister of Defense Saken Zhasuzakov informed the head of state on measures to maintain the army’s fighting efficiency, discipline and law and order.

“To date, the Armed Forces are staffed by 93 percent, compared to 89 percent in 2015. Work is currently underway to call for officers, sergeants and part of the contract personnel, and recruitment of conscripts has been increased. About 34,000 conscripts are called for all types of troops,” the defense minister reported. (akorda.kz)


Tsesnabank to become bank holding

The National Bank has granted Tsesnabank permission to acquire a major stake in Bank CenterCredit and to become a bank holding.

“Tsesnabank (Astana), whose securities are officially listed on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE), has informed KASE on receipt on April 10, 2017 ‘of permission No. 19 dated April 7, 2017 from the National Bank of Republic of Kazakhstan to hold a major stake in Bank CenterCredit ...’ and ‘approval from the NB of RK for acquiring the status of a bank holding’,” the KASE website reads.

It has been reported that Korean Kookmin Bank plans to sell its stake in Kazakh Bank CenterCredit (BCC) and Tsesnabank is discussing a possible merger after repurchasing the stake.

A bank holding is a company that is the majority shareholder in at least one bank. A bank holding company controls the operations of the banks it owns. Bank holding companies have access to liquidity from regulators through the loans made to the banks themselves. (kase.kz)


AREVA, Kazatomprom sign strategic agreement

AREVA and Kazatomprom recently signed an agreement to strengthen their long-standing cooperation in uranium-mining in Kazakhstan. 

The signing ceremony took place in Astana in the presence of the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Kanat Bozumbayev and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of AREVA Philippe Varin. The document was signed by Askar Zhumagaliyev, Chairperson of the Board of Kazatomprom, and Chief Executive Officer of AREVA Philippe Knoche.

The agreement includes opportunities to develop their joint-venture KATCO (AREVA 51 percent and Kazatomprom 49 percent) and will increase value for shareholders.

“In the frame of the longstanding nuclear cooperation between Kazakhstan and France, this agreement strengthens our twenty-year partnership with Kazatomprom for the mutually economic benefit of the two partners. It gives KATCO a new long-term perspective with the development of the South Tortkuduk project, which will extend its production for the next two decades,” Knoche said.

“It is symbolic that we sign the strategic agreement with our reliable partners in the year of celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kazatomprom. A positive example of mutually beneficial cooperation is the successful implementation of joint projects in the nuclear fuel cycle. In addition, the provisions of the agreement correspond to the tasks set by the Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev to preserve leadership in the uranium mining market and to create a competitive nuclear company in the world,” Zhumagaliyev said. (kazatomprom.kz)


Kazakhstan starts assembling Chevrolet NIVA cars

Kazakh car plant SaryarkaAvtoProm in Kostanay recently launched production of Chevrolet NIVA cars from car kits supplied by Tolyatti, Russia, GM AvtoVAZ announced in a press release. GM AvtoVAZ and SaryarkaAvtoProm signed an agreement on delivery of car kits in January 2017.

Kazakhstan is an important export market for GM AvtoVAZ. The new production facility will increase Chevrolet NIVA’s competitiveness in the Kazakh market, the company said.

GM AvtoVAZ is a joint venture in Russia, set up in 2001 by General Motors and Russia’s AvtoVAZ. SaryarkaAvtoProm in Kazakhstan produces SsangYong, Toyota, Geely, Jac and Iveco cars.


Dimash Kudaibergenov’s song Umytylmas Kun tops FreshAsia music chart

The song “Umytylmas Kun” (Unforgettable Day) performed by Dimash Kudaibergenov at the Singer 2017 contest in China tops the FreshAsia Music Chart, Kazinform reports.    

The chart is updated every 10 minutes and is based on the popularity of Asian singers’ songs in China.

The song gathered 118,400 points and ranks first. The soundtrack “Memories That Can’t Take Away” to the film “Battle of Memories” gathered 115,009 votes and is in second place. The song “Daididau” also performed by Dimash in the 7th round of the contest is ranked 14th.

From April 3 to 9, the song “Umytylmas Kun” was the second on the chart, “Memories That Can’t Take Away” stood the fourth and “Daididau” was ranked 20th.



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