Foreign investors have asked the Kazakh government to look into easing visa regulations, the Tengrinews website reported.
Read the story here
Lower metal prices has forced Kazakhstan to cut its 2013 national budget.
Metal, especially steel, has become an important export for Kazakhstan but a weak global economy and sanctions against Iran have combined to hit earnings. Iran had previously been a major buyer of Kazakh steel.
Reuters reported that the upper house of the Kazakh parliament on Thursday voted to cut the national budget by 4% to $34.6b.
To read the full Reuters story, click here
AGRICULTURE: Locusts outbreak
Kazakhstan’s ministry of agriculture warned that a large plague of locusts was likely to infest parts of north and west Kazakhstan (May 30). The ministry’s press release said serious locust plagues were cyclical and that the last major infestation was in 2000.
This story was first published in issue 059 of the Silk Road Intelligencer. To sign up go to www.theconwaybulletin.com
Kcell, the biggest mobile phone provider in Kazakhstan, has replaced its CEO.
Ali Agan, a Teliasonera insider will take over as CEO. He replaces Veysel Aral who moves on to another senior position in the Teliasonera group.
Teliasonera is the largest shareholder in Kcell.
>>A Kazakh banknote wins an international design award, again
LONDON, May 20, 2013: In terms of banknote sophistication — artwork and anti-forgery security — Kazakhstan is world class.
The International Bank Note Society named Kazakhstan’s 5,000 tenge note, worth around $33, as the best new issue of 2012 (May 17).
This is the second consecutive year that Kazakhstan has won the award after its new 10,000 tenge note won in 2012.
With the help of the British banknote printer De La Rue, the Kazakh Central Bank designed and launched the new 5,000 tenge banknote on New Year’s Eve 2011/12.
The judges praised its bright orange colour as well as the banknote’s designs, including an outline of the country, the iconic Soviet-built Hotel Kazakhstan in Almaty and Independence Statue in the centre of the city.
The note also contains various anti-forgery watermarks and other devices that improve its security.
Unusually for banknotes, the 5,000 tenge note, which beat Canada’s 50 dollar bill and the Jersey 100 pound bill for the award, does not carry the image of a famous national person.
If banknote art and sophistication is a sign of a confident, growing economy that is increasingly proud of its currency and aware of its national symbols, then Kazakhstan is definitely moving in the right direction.
This story was first published in issue 135 of the Conway Bulletin. To subscribe, click here
Kazkommertzbank, the biggest Kazakh bank, increased its Q1 profit by 15%. This is good news for the entire Kazakh banking sector which has been struggling to recover since the 2009 global economic crisis.
Read the Reuters story here
In a victory for the World Health Organisation, Kazakhstan has agreed to start posting graphic images of the damage caused by smoking on cigarette packets
Read the WHO press release here
Kazakh economy minister, Yerbolat Dossayev, has said that GDP growth will be 5 percent in the first half of the year. This is slightly below the government’s target GDP growth.
Read the Tengrinews story here