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News: Monday, February 20, 2017 -- Issue 2683 http://www.newsline.kz/rss/

Article of the Day

Kazakhstan ranks among the world’s top 50 economically free countries
    Kazakhstan has improved its ranking in the updated Index of Economic Freedom of US research center The Heritage Foundation. Kazakhstan now ranks 42nd, leaving behind Russia and Belarus, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reports.
    Kazakhstan has gained 69 points out of 100 (the maximum in the Index of Economic Freedom ranking), 5.4 points more than last year. Today, Kazakhstan shares 42nd place in the ranking with Jamaica and Peru.
    A year ago, Kazakhstan ranked 69th. Today, thanks to its economic success, Kazakhstan has managed to overtake such countries as Poland, Romania, Belgium, and Turkey.
    The rating assessed economies based on ten indicators, including the guarantee of property rights, anti-corruption, transparency and efficiency of budget spending, free trade, and labor market flexibility.
    Heritage Foundation analysts have given a positive assessment on virtually all items rated, except for labor market flexibility and financial independence.
    Experts attribute the growth to the fact that Kazakhstan has received a significant benefit from the policy of openness and flexibility of the economy over the past ten years.
    In addition, analysts say that Kazakhstan has taken a number of measures for the further growth of economic freedom.
    "In spite of the expansion of non-energy sector measures, the overall regulatory framework needs to be more streamlined in order to increase competitiveness," the Heritage Foundation said.
    Russia has also significantly improved its ranking and took 114th place.
    Belarus was ranked 104th. The experts agreed on the fact that the country has made little progress in deregulation, and the government’s intervention in business and control hamper the economy.

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Kazakhstan General

Avalanche kills 7 soldiers in Southern Kazakhstan mountains
    Seven soldiers were killed and 16 others rescued in a sudden avalanche in Southern Kazakhstan, the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency reported Friday.
    Rangers reported the avalanche and injured ...
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Afghanistan extradited Kazakh national accused of embezzling 80mln tenge
    The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan satisfied the Kazakh Prosecutor General's Office's request on extradition of a Kazakh national referred to as Sh. to ...
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The stable state of Nursultan Nazarbayev's Kazakhstan
    Kazakhstan has found its way into the Western news with Syrian peace talks in the capital, Astana. Since little news comes out of the landlocked Central ...
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Expo-2017

Chinese travel companies use photo of Dimash to attract tourists to EXPO in Astana
    Director of the Tourism Industry Department of the RK Investment and Development Ministry, Marat Igali, said that Chinese travel agencies had placed on their websites the ...
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American delegation visits EXPO site
    The U.S. delegation headed by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs William Todd visited the EXPO 2017 construction site in Astana. The ...
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Oil and Gas Sector

Tengizchevroil reduces payments to Kazakhstan by 41% in 2016
    Tengizchevroil JV (TCO) paid $4.7 billion in 2016 to the revenue of Kazakhstan compared with $8.2 billion in 2015, reports KazWorld.info.
    The sum of direct payments to ...
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Kashagan oil transportation by Atyrau - Samara pipeline started
    New pipeline route has been created in Kazakhstan to transport Kashagan oil, Kazpravda.kz reports with reference to the KazTransOil company’s PR service.
    "Our company for the ...
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KMG-EP presents financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016
    JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (“KMG EP” or “the Company”) announced its consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016.
    Revenue in 2016 was up ...
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Romania’s Rompetrol Rafinare 2016 net profit falls
    Romanian oil refiner Rompetrol Rafinare [BSE:RRC] reported a consolidated net profit of $49.8 million (46.8 million euro) in 2016, down 23% year-on-year, negatively impacted by international ...
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Oil logs weekly drop on concerns over rise in U.S. crude supply and output
    Oil futures barely budged Friday, but fell for the week—caught between larger-than-expected growth in U.S. crude stocks and reports that OPEC members may exercise an option ...
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Only crisis or cuts will move oil markets
    Despite hints from OPEC that the cartel would be extending its production cut deal, oil prices fell slightly this week. Oil continues to trade within a ...
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Floating oil exploration platform to be tested in Russia
    Institute of Oil and Gas Geology and Geophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences suggest using for oil exploration in the Arctic a platform on an ...
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Russia’s oil giant Rosneft widens cooperation with Schlumberger
    A subsidiary of Russia’s oil giant, Rosneft Brasil, has announced the launch of drilling works at the first prospecting well in Brazil. The US-based, global oilfield ...
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European natural gas: TTF, German near-term prices resume bearish trend
    Dutch and German near-term prices fell sharply Friday morning as bearish sentiment resumed on a drop in demand amid rising temperatures across Europe, with market participants ...
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Will Belarus be able to substitute Russian oil by deliveries from Iran and Azerbaijan?
    Purchase of an oil lot by Belarus from Iran is demonstrative and will not be able to substitute supplies from Russia either in economic or in ...
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Afghanistan expects Russian oil supplies will grow
    Afghanistan expects oil import from Russia will grow, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said on Tuesday after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
    "We discussed economic cooperation ...
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Finance and Investment

Tajik-Kazakh economic cooperation commission meets in Astana to discuss cooperation
    The 13th session of the joint Tajik-Kazakh commission for trade and economic cooperation took place in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on February 15-16.
    According to the press center ...
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Fitch: Kazakh Bank sector rehabilitation starting to take shape
    The Kazakh bank sector rehabilitation is starting to take shape, Fitch Ratings said Feb. 16.
    “We believe asset quality could improve significantly as a result of the ...
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Karaganda region to attract 350bln tenge of investments in 2017
    The Karaganda region's industrial output in 2016 reached 1.9trln tenge, having risen by 4.9% against 2015 indicator, Kazinform correspondent reports citing the region's Governor Nurmukhambet Abdibekov. ...
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Metals and Minerals

Kazakhstan earned $584 million on silver exports
    In 2016 Kazakhstan has reduced export of silver, however revenues grew and the country earned $584 million, according to energyprom.kz.
    Export volume in physical terms decreased by ...
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Court case between ENRC and law firm Dechert
    Dechert has lost a High Court challenge to its £16m legal bill for 23 months’ work assisting a FTSE 100 mining company with an internal governance ...
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Analysts Set KAZ Minerals PLC (KAZ) PT at $192.50
    Shares of KAZ Minerals PLC (LON:KAZ) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seventeen ratings firms that are covering the stock. Five investment analysts ...
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China unwavering in steel capacity cut: official
    China will be unwavering in its efforts to eliminate excess steel production capacity this year, an official said Friday.
    Xu Lejiang, vice minister of industry and ...
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China to curb fast growing steel prices
    The Chinese government is encouraging steel companies to sign long-term contracts with coal and downstream steel consuming companies while improving their product quality.
    The measure, set out ...
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Base metals prices edge lower as market consolidates
    The base metals on the London Metal Exchange are for the most part weaker this morning, Friday February 17. Tin and copper prices are little changed, ...
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Gold prices fall the day, but post a third straight weekly gain
    Gold prices ended with a loss on Friday, but tallied a third consecutive weekly gain as political uncertainty continued to boost investment demand for the metal.
    “The ...
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Coal Showing Signs of Turnaround: Solid Long-Term Choice
    The coal industry has been severely impacted by stringent regulatory measures to control emissions in electric power generation. Despite the numerous hurdles in coal's way at ...
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Uranium prices: US production falls to 11-year low, but price impact likely negligible
    The collapse in uranium prices has had a significant impact on production, and these production cuts have finally started to impact the supply chain and prices. ...
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Manufacturing industry

Kazakhstan – commodities that count, markets that matter; highlights over the week ending January 18
    Kazakhstan’s commodity output and sales are of crucial importance to its economy. The country’s hydrocarbon, mineral and agricultural sectors employ some 80 per cent of the ...
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Batteries factory develops cross-border marketing
    Kazakhstan’s producers and manufacturers are set to build export capacities. More than 40 enterprises based in the Almaty region export their products abroad. The product variety ...
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Trade and Consumer Goods

In 2016/17 MY, Kazakhstan to produce 17 mln tonnes of wheat - experts
    In the current market year (MY) which stretches from July 1 to June 30, wheat production in Kazakhstan will reach 17 mln tonnes, reported the International ...
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Kyzylorda region to enter Iranian rice market
    The Kyzylorda region is going to capture a share at the Iranian rice market, Kazinform reports.
    The governor of the region, Krymbek Kusherbayev, held today an ...
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Kazakhstan’s first exotic fish farm on stream
    In the Arnasai village of the Akmola region, tourists and locals are welcomed to attend a workshop on how to use energy- and water-saving technologies. Founded ...
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Russia, EU to vie for top spot in key wheat markets in 2017/18
    Russia and the European Union are expected to return to strong competition for the rank of the world’s biggest wheat exporter in the new 2017/18 marketing ...
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Bullish trends dominated on the milling wheat market last week
    Steady price growth continued in the Russian export market of milling wheat last week. Export prices for 12.5%-protein milling wheat closed the week up another $3-4 ...
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FSU producers get competitive in grain supplies
    Grain futures extended their losses on the previous day, with US wheat still too expensive to compete in export markets, and corn and soybeans under pressure ...
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Communications and Transportation

Kazakhstan tightens train, airport security
    Kazakhstan is introducing new security procedures at railway stations and airports to safeguard passengers and prevent terrorist attacks, officials said.
    Kazakhstani police will carry out security ...
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This year, 700 km of roads in Kazakhstan to become commercial
    In 2017 it is planned to make travel on 700 km of highways in Kazakhstan commercial. This was told by Vice Minister for Investment and Development ...
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Kazakhstan to increase transit revenues up to $4 billion by 2020
    Kazakhstan’s revenues from transit by all types of transport should reach 1.3 trillion tenge (a little more than US $4 billion) by 2020, the official website ...
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KTZ attracts Chinese investors to Khorgos-Eastern Gates SEZ projects
    A delegation of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) visited Shanghai to meet with the representatives of China Cosco Shipping and Lianyungang Port to discuss joint ...
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EU supports development of transport and logistics in Central Asia
    A new project “Strengthening Transport and Logistics Business Intermediary Organisations (BIOs) in Central Asia” was launched in Tashkent on February 15. The project is funded by ...
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Cargo space craft launch from Baikonur to be aired
    On February 22, 2017 at 11:58 Soyuz-U rocket carrier with a cargo spacecraft Progress MS-05 will be launched from Baikonur cosmodrome.
    The launch will be aired ...
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Kazakhstan pledges $600,000 for railway lab of Kyrgyzstan: railway company CEO
    Kazakhstan promised to give $600,000 for equipment for the railway laboratory in Kyrgyzstan, said the CEO of Kyrgyz Temir Jolu JSC Almaz Nogoibayev during the meeting ...
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Sports

Kazakhs increase interest for traditional sports
    National sports are becoming more and more popular in Kazakhstan. In recent years, they have become independent sport disciplines rather than entertainment. Some of them turned ...
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Regional News

140 kilogrammes of gold bars sold to Kyrgyz population in 2 years: Central Bank chief
    In the two years that the central bank has offered bars directly to the population, about 140 kilogrammes of bullion have been sold, Chairman of the ...
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China's waning forex reserve worries unwarranted: PBOC advisors
    China's diminishing forex reserve, now below the closely-watched $3 trillion mark, has triggered market concerns, but two advisors to the Chinese central bank believe that such ...
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Russia to pay off all Soviet-era debts by this summer
    Russia is concluding paying off the external debt of the Soviet Union. The last tranche will be paid to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Izvestia writes on Friday. ...
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Moody's upgrades outlook on Russia’s sovereign rating to stable from negative
    Moody's international rating agency has changed its outlook on Russia’s sovereign rating to stable from negative, the agency said in a statement.
    "Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has ...
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Kyrgyzstan: Ata-Meken party member Shykmamatov probed for corruption and forgery
    General Prosecutor's Office said it has launched probe into "corruption" and "official forgery" against MP Almambet Shykmamatov (Ata-Meken faction) and employees of the Accounts Chamber.
    Investigation found ...
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Experts from Uzbekistan on construction of China — Kyrgyzstan — Uzbekistan railroad arrive in Kyrgyzstan for first time
    Experts from Uzbekistan on construction of the China — Kyrgyzstan — Uzbekistan railroad arrived in Kyrgyzstan for the first time, said Minister of Transport and Roads ...
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Russia's largest turkey meat producing firm to import halal products to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
    The largest turkey meat producing firm of Russia Evrodon will supply halal products to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, reports RIA Novsti with reference to Evrodon.
    The ...
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Uzbekistan's “state crime victims” want $1 billion
    It sounds like a story written in Hollywood: The power-hungry daughter of a dictator vanishes, brought down by rivalry and greed, imprisoned in her home — ...
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Uzbekistan implements new anti-corruption strategy
    Uzbekistan is tackling corruption, which authorities call a national security threat, through joint actions involving security agencies, media and civil society.
    "Corruption weakens and breaks down ...
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Tajikistan sees fall in trade turnover
    Tajikistan's trade turnover decreased significantly over the year, as January 2017 saw the country's foreign trade turnover at the level of about $252.3 million.
    The figure is ...
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Azerbaijan’s GDP increases
    The volume of Azerbaijan’s GDP reached 5.23 billion manat (official exchange rate on Feb. 18 is 1.7352 AZN/USD) in January 2017 that is by 0.8 percent ...
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Prices and Statistics

Commodities
    

Date: February 20, 2017; Source: Bloomberg.com

Energy

Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EST) 2 Day
USD/bbl. 53.44 +0.04 +0.07% Mar 2017 12:20 AM
USD/bbl. 55.80 -0.01 -0.02% Apr 2017 12:27 AM
USd/gal. 152.00 +0.34 +0.22% Mar 2017 12:07 AM
USD/MMBtu 2.76 -0.07 -2.65% Mar 2017 12:27 AM
USd/gal. 164.08 +0.44 +0.27% Mar 2017 12:19 AM
 
Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EST) 2 Day
USD/t oz. 1,235.20 -3.90 -0.31% Apr 2017 12:27 AM
USD/t oz. 1,233.87 -0.73 -0.06% N/A 12:38 AM
USD/t oz. 17.96 -0.07 -0.39% May 2017 12:24 AM
USd/lb. 272.60 +0.60 +0.22% May 2017 12:19 AM
USD/t oz. 1,000.65 -2.68 -0.27% N/A 12:37 AM
Index Units Price Change %Change Contract Time (EST) 2 Day
USd/bu. 375.50 -5.50 -1.44% May 2017 2/17/2017
USd/bu. 455.50 -5.75 -1.25% May 2017 2/17/2017
USD/MT 2,000.00 -42.00 -2.06% May 2017 2/17/2017
USd/lb. 75.52 -1.25 -1.63% May 2017 2/17/2017
USd/lb. 114.93 +1.68 +1.48% Apr 2017 2/17/2017
 

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Exchange Rates
    

Date: February 20, 2017; Source: the National Bank of Kazakhstan

1 USD KZT 318.61 1 CHF

KZT 318.8

1 CNY

KZT 46.4

1 TRY KZT 86.62 1 JPY KZT 2.82
1 EUR

KZT 339.1

1 AUD

KZT 243.96

1 KGS KZT 4.61 100 UZS KZT 9.65 1 BYN KZT 170.33
1 GBP KZT 395.59 1 CAD KZT 243.42 1 RUB KZT 5.52 100 KRW KZT 27.72 1 UAH KZT 11.79

 

 

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