Prepared by company Kazakhstan Newsline
Kazakh Handlers participate in Britain’s first Falconry Festival
Times Online (July 15, 2007)
the convention, which featured more than 100 birds of prey, including golden eagles and saker falcons, took place at the Englefield estate at Theale, Berkshire, and was attended by enthusiasts from 30 nations, including Kazakhstan….One highlight was the creation of an Arab village, complete with Bedouin tents, falcons, saluki dogs and camels, where visitors were able to meet Arab falconers. The event was supported by the Government of the United Arab Emirates….Meanwhile, more than 40 hunts in England and Wales have acquired a bird of prey in an attempt to exploit what they believe is a loophole in the Hunting Act 2005 which bans hunting with dogs….Some experts believe that hunting with a bird of prey would be allowed under the terms of the law. However the Hawk Board and the British Falconry Club are opposed to the use of the birds for hunting….The hunters’ interpretation of the law is now being challenged by the League Against Cruel Sports, which is bringing a private prosecution against a hunt in the Isle of Wight that has used a bird of prey to go hunting with dogs, according to the Times Online (UK).
Astana kicked out of Tour of Spain
Agence France Presse (August 15, 2007)
Madrid - Elite cycling outfit Astana were told Monday that they could not compete in next month's Tour of Spain, because of recent doping scandals concerning the team….Vuelta organisers said in a statement that they were withdrawing the Swiss-based Kazakhstani team's invitation for the September 1-23 race….»After analyzing the information available to us regarding Astana, we have decided to withdraw the team's invitation for La Vuelta because of doping cases in the team during the 2007 season,» organisers said….Astana, who pulled out of the Tour de France following the failed dope test of their Kazakhstani leader Alexandr Vinokourov, announced last week they had suspended all sporting activities until the end of August…The Kazakhstani rider was expelled from cycling's most prestigious race after failing the control following his win in the 13th stage time-trial on July 21….The rider's sample revealed the presence of «two distinct blood populations.»…Vinokourov has contested the validity of the results of both the A and B samples. He also tested positive in a second test taken on July 23….German rider, Matthias Kessler was suspended by the team in June after testing positive for excess levels of testosterone and Italy's Eddy Mazzoleni was dropped from their Tour de France team because of doping allegations
Aliyev and Austrian Prosecutor at odds
Deutsche Welle (July 19, 2007)
Rakhat Aliyev has issued statements to the press indicating that the money laundering criminal case launched against him was closed. The Austrian Public Prosecutor’s Office however, has disputed this statement….Mr. Aliyev said in an interview, “I have a decision from the court issued as of July 11, saying that the Land Court of Vienna has closed the criminal case against me, which had been launched by the Austrian Office of the Public Prosecutor on charges of money laundering. All my blocked accounts at Austrian banks have been released. Austrian justice has proved once again that I have a legal business and income in Austria…. A spokesperson from the Austrian Public Prosecutor’s Office, Gerhard Yarosh said however, “The criminal case launched against Rakhat Aliyev and a number of top managers who are accused of money laundering has not been halted as of yet, but remains ongoing.”…Mr. Yarosh noted however that there was no legal basis for bringing Mr. Aliyev to trial on these charges in Austria, due to peculiarities in national legislation….“According to Austrian law a person who committed a crime in a different country is not liable in Austria for money laundering,” Yarosh said. “For example, if some drug dealers from Columbia launder money in Austria, or deposit it into an Austrian bank, we have no right to prosecute him,” he added.
Oil and Gas
Petkim Sale defended
Bloomberg (July 17, 2007)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended the sale of state chemicals maker - Petkim Petrokimya Holding to a Kazakhstani company, the Turkish newspaper Milliyet said Monday…Erdogan said in a television interview that the price that TransCentralAsia Petrochemical Holding agreed to pay for Petkim was well above the company's market value, and rejected criticism that the buyers did not provide enough information about their company, Milliyet said.
Pantech exploring New Markets in Central Asia and Middle East
Malaysia Star (August 12, 2007)
Petroleum – из The Pantech Group Holdings Bhd, a pipes, fittings and flow controls specialist, plans to participate in oil and gas exhibitions overseas, to explore potential markets in Central Asia and Middle East….Pantech executive chairman, Jimmy Chew, said the company planned to participate in the Kazakhstan Oil and Gas exhibition in October and Arab Oil and Gas exhibition in December….»We have received good leads from our previous participation in the Oil and Gas Asia exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur last June, and we are now confident that our participation in Kazakhstan and Arab exhibitions will be equally fruitful,» he said after the company's annual general meeting Friday
Eni SpA Face-Off continues
Wall Street Journal (August 8, 2007)
In 1997, Italy's Eni SpA entered an agreement with Kazakhstan to operate Kashagan. Under the deal, Eni would recover its costs from the Kashagan revenue before having to start sharing large portions of their income with the government….Since then, the oil prices have skyrocketed and the deal appears far less advantageous to Kazakhstan. The project has been beset by technical difficulties and rising procurement costs, and now Kazakhstani officials are crying foul - and threatening to fire Eni….As Guy Chazan reports, the prime minister said Tuesday that his government might remove Eni as operator of Kashagan, which is key to the Central Asian nation's ambitions to become one of the world's top 10 crude exporters….Karim Massimov's comments signify intensifying brinkmanship ahead of a face-off later this week between the government and the Eni-led consortium developing Kashagan….Oil-industry observers and regional insiders have said the Kazakhstani authorities aren't likely to take the extreme step of firing Eni as operator because of the project's complexities. But they will probably demand a bigger and possibly earlier take from revenue….Mr. Massimov was careful to note that despite its quarrel with Eni, Kazakhstan remains open for business.
Ecologists protest Westinghouse Kazatomprom deal
MSNBC (July 23, 2007)
Four international environmentalist groups have appealed to the US government to block the proposed sale of 10 percent of Westinghouse Electric, the US nuclear systems company, to Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan's state atomic energy agency, warning that the deal would empower the potentially unstable central Asian republic to produce nuclear weapons….Kazatomprom, one of the world's leading uranium producers, is negotiating to acquire the Westinghouse stake for about $540 million, as part of its strategy to transform itself into a global company involved in all aspects of the nuclear power generation cycle….Toshiba, which took control of Westinghouse last year, hopes to use the share sale to Kazatomprom to improve its access to uranium supplies ….In a letter to the US Committee on Foreign Investment, Greenpeace, Essential Action, Knowledge Ecology International and Essential Action, said, «We oppose the transaction on the grounds that the sale will undermine efforts to limit nuclear proliferation, and will give sensitive nuclear technology to a brutal, repressive and undemocratic regime, which may lack long-term legitimacy and stability»….Kazakhstan, the most prosperous and politically stable republic in central Asia, has been a close political ally of the US since the 1990s when it voluntarily surrendered its huge Soviet-era nuclear arsenal and invited US companies to help tap oilfields ….Those ties have so far muted criticism's poor record on human rights and democracy….The environmentalists said widespread corruption could pose a threat to the security of nuclear materials, citing reports of black market sales of nuclear technologies in the republic….CFIUS approved Toshiba's takeover of Westinghouse in June 2006 after a standard 30-day review. …The panel is not expected to investigate Toshiba's proposed sale to Kazatomprom, because the transaction does not involve a change in control of Westinghouse or its board….However, the deal will be subject to strict US export control rules, which are meant to monitor and prevent the transfer of sensitive materials to foreign governments.
Kazkommerts Chairman ups His Stake
Reuters (August 3, 2007)
The chairman of Kazkommertsbank has raised his ownership to nearly 41 percent, after buying shares in a holding company, the bank said ….Nurzhan Subkhanberdin, the chairman and the bank's main shareholder, raised his stake in the Central Asian Investment Company (CAIC), which owns 32.12 percent of the bank….He also has a direct equity stake of 12.62 percent, which remains unchanged. His direct and indirect holding has risen to 40.63 percent from 30.35 percent - the bank said….A spokeswoman said Subkhanberdin bought the shares from former senior managers, but did not know why he had raised his stake