Kazakhstan to cap Oil Fund Loans by State Companies

    By Nariman Gizitdinov
    Kazakhstan will restrict the amount state-owned companies can borrow from the National Oil Fund by imposing caps, Economic Development and Trade Minister Zhanar Aitzhanova said.
    Annual spending on servicing government debt must not exceed the National Oil Fund’s “annual conditional set investment income” of 4.5 percent, Aitzhanova said at a government meeting in Astana today.
    Caps for borrowing from the fund by state-owned companies will be set later, she said, according to a copy of her speech e-mailed today.
    Central Asia’s biggest energy producer tapped $10 billion from its oil fund to prop up its banking system and economy as credit markets froze and the nation’s property bubble burst.
    The oil fund, created to guard against declines in crude prices, rose 2.2 percent in value in February from the previous month to $25.2 billion.
    The amount of money in the oil fund that can’t be used must be equal to at least 20 percent of planned grossed domestic product, Aitzhanova said. The measures will help the fund to grow to $90 billion by 2020, equal to about 30 percent of GDP, she said, according to Bloomberg.