Kazakhstan - 04

Kazakhstan: Outlook for KazTransOil’s Transformation: No Major Reforms in Sight

In late July, a Karaganda court issued a guilty verdict for 11 suspects accused of stealing oil from a KTO pipeline and the Kazakhstan-China Pipeline Company (an entity partly owned and operated by KTO). While the precise damage is still being calculated, the perpetrators stole tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of crude by cutting

Kazakhstan - 03

Kazakhstan: UK Delegation Visit: Interest in Astana Investments; Skepticism over IPOs

A high-level UK government delegation visited the Astana Expo 2017 last week to advance several strategic investment plans. UK International Trade Minister Greg Hands met with Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Minister for Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek and Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev, as well as representatives of Kazakh and British businesses. Minister Hands hosted

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Kazakhstan: Eurasia Project Inches Ahead While Other New Deals Are More Promising

Amid much fanfare, on 21 June the Kazakh government signed an agreement with KazMunayGas (KMG), Rosneft, CNPC, SOCAR, Eni and NEOS GeoSolutions to develop the Eurasia project. This will entail drilling an unprecedented 15km-deep well, Caspian-1, in the northern part of the Caspian Sea (75% of the project is in Kazakhstan and 25% is in

Kazakhstan - 01

Kazakhstan: New Senators: Younger but Firmly Loyal to Nazarbayev

On 28 June Kazakhstan held Senate elections, with results exactly in line with what President Nursultan Nazarbayev desired. The president directly appoints 15 of the 47 senators, most of whom are his friends and close associates, including many retired officials. The remaining seats have staggered elections; every three years a group of 16 senators is

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Kazakhstan: Latest Analysis KMG Streamlines Corporate Structure

Last week KMG CEO Sauat Mynbayev announced that the company is transforming its subsidiaries in order to reduce red tape. These reforms have been discussed for over two years but concrete details are only now emerging. Mynbayev said the company is planning to convert some of its subsidiaries to limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and pass

Kazakhstan - 03

Kazakhstan: Astana Expo: Initial Assessment

With much fanfare, on 9 June President Nursultan Nazarbayev opened the long-awaited Astana Expo 2017, which features the theme of “future energy.” The international exposition is the 25-year-old country’s most important public event, and arguably Nazarbayev’s as well. Kazakhstan has previously hosted large events, like the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit

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Kazakhstan: KMG-CNPC Gas Export MOU: Rationale and Outlook

On 7 June, Chinese President Xi Jinping started a four-day state visit to Kazakhstan, his third trip to the country. He is set to advance bilateral ties and attend the 17th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council and the opening ceremony of the World Expo in Astana. However, as this year marks the

Kazakhstan - 01

Kazakhstan: Outlook for KMG Privatization and Reform

On 10 May Kazakh Finance Minister Bakhyt Sultanov said that Air Astana, KazAtomProm and KMG remain on short list of state-controlled companies to be privatized, with 2019 as the latest possible completion date. This echoes the upbeat rhetoric of Umirzak Shukeyev, the head of the Samruk-Kazyna Welfare Fund (SK Fund), who since late 2016 has

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Kazakhstan: Challenges in the Refining Sector: Delays Ahead

This week the Kazakh Ministry of Energy released statistics showing that overall output of all fuels in Q1 2017 grew 17.5% year-on-year. However, even though imported fuels remained at about 30% of the total supply, rising demand caused imports to grow in absolute numbers.