Prepared by company Kazakhstan Newsline
Electronic-Voting System Challenged
Radio Free Europe (August 17, 2007)
Two leading Kazakhstani information technology (IT) experts are challenging the security of a new electronic-voting system to be used in early parliamentary elections on August 18, RFE/RL's Kazakhstan Service reported….During a press conference at Almaty's National Press Club today, Zhandoz Kashkimbaev and Bakhyt Qayraqbay called on Kazakhstani voters to use traditional paper ballots instead of the electronic device…The system, which was introduced during Kazakhstan's 2004 parliamentary elections, has been approved by the Central Election Commission…However, the two experts say the electronic system makes it easier for the election authorities to manipulate votes …»The system is well-protected from possible external meddling, but it is vulnerable to possible internal interference,» Qayraqbay said…The authorities have dismissed the two men's claims as «baseless.»
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Jordan praises Bilateral Relations
Jordanian News Agency (August 22, 2007)
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Jordan, Polat Sersenbayev has commented the relations between the two countries increased greatly over the past two years…The visit of King Abdullah II to Kazakhstan this month and that on the part of President Nazarbayev to Jordan last year paved the way for distinguished relations in various areas, the ambassador said in an interview with the Jordanian News Agency ….He said that many issues were discussed during the King’s visit, including the Palestinian cause - affirming an adherence to the two-state solution supported by the Arab initiative….He pointed out that the joint Jordanian-Kazakhstani higher committee held its second meeting in Astana and signed an agreement to establish a joint Jordanian-Kazakhstani business council. The latter held a meeting in Astana with the participation of over 200 participants in various economic sectors….Sersenbayev announced that Jordan will join the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Oil and Gas
Eni Expects to resume Kashagan Talks This Month
Moscow Times (August 20, 2007)
The consortium led by Italy's Eni will start talks with the Kazakhstan on the future of the giant Kashagan oil field, Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said Saturday…Kazakhstan has said it wants a bigger share of revenues from the world's biggest oil-field discovery in 30 years in compensation for delays in pumping the first oil from the Caspian Sea wells and threatened to strip Eni of its role as project operator….»We are getting ready for challenging, but serene talks,» Scaroni told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the Italian holiday resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo. «Our relations with the Kazakh authorities are and have always been excellent, and we do not have particular worries.»…Scaroni said the talks with the Kazakhstan government were delayed by parliamentary elections in the country, and that he would go there before the end of August. He reiterated that Eni was ready to resolve all problems…. «The Kazakh government intends to renegotiate the contract and this does not surprise us. We think it's normal because the contract was born when oil prices were much lower,» Scaroni said….He said the consortium has kept KazMunayGas informed on the project delays and increasing costs….The country has also demanded a greater role for KazMunayGas in projects and is passing legislation restricting how subsoil assets can be bought and sold.
Caspian International Oil receives $27 Million in Contracts
Market Wire (August 23, 2007)
Caspian International Oil Corporation (CIOC) announced signing contracts totaling approximately $27 million for seismic data acquisition in Kazakhstan. Based on these contracts, CIOC forecasts revenues of over $19 million for calendar 2007….In addition, CIOC's backlog for 2008 has also increased, as about $12 million of these awards will be completed next year….CIOC provides a comprehensive array of oil field services, including seismic surveys and reservoir modeling, to oil and gas industry customers in Kazakhstan and in other countries….In addition, CIOC operates an oil field under a 20 year production license in the prolific oil-producing Caspian Sea region of western Kazakhstan…
Karachaganak Gas Sale and Purchase Contract comes into force
Finmarket (September 5, 2007)
The agreement for the sale and purchase of gas from Karachaganak, signed in June 2007 between Karachaganak Petroleum Operating and KazRosGas has come into force, a Gasprom press release said….Starting from 2012, the KazRosGas LLP will buy hydrocarbon materials and ship them for processing to the Russian-Kazakhstani enterprise based at the Orenburg Oil Refinery. The amount of gas shipped will reach 16 billion cubic per year…
Roxi Petroleum H1 Pretax loss at US $4.35 Million
Forbes (Sept 10, 2007)
Roxi Petroleum Plc has reported a pretax loss of US $4.35 million in its maiden first-half results, but said it looks forward with confidence to the future…The company, which listed on the AIM in May, said its agreements to buy two principal assets Ravninnoe and Beibars are progressing as planned, but a legal challenge regarding the ownership of the vendors' interests in the North Karamandybas asset has not yet been fully resolved…Roxi added that it expects to take operational and financial control by the year end of another three oil and gas assets that it has bought in West Kazakhstan in the Pre-Caspian and Turgai basins…Roxi Petroleum was created to acquire controlling interests in and develop oil and gas assets in Central Asia, particularly in Kazakhstan.
Italian Foreign Minister hopes to resolve Eni Issues in Kazakhstan
RIA Novosti (Sept 12, 2007)
Italian Foreign Minister, Massimov D’Alema hopes for quick resolution of the problems related with the Kashagan development, where the Italian Eni was suspended by the government on August 27….“We hope that the situation will be resolved before the Italian Prime Minister visits Kazakhstan,” Italian Foreign Minister said….Paolo Scaroni, Eni’s general director arrived in Astana September 11, and negotiations have already begun …Romano Prodi is expected to come to Kazakhstan October 7-9.
President says Iran One of the Best Routes for Caspian Oil and Gas.
Tehran Times (Sept 14, 2007)
Nursultan Nazarbayev said in a meeting with the president of Turkmenistan that his nation was eager to develop cooperation in the “transit of hydrocarbons through not only the existing northern route, but also other transport routes to the east, west and south,” the Associated Press reported….Both Nazarbayev and Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov have appeared eager to develop alternative export routes under the Caspian to Azerbaijan and to Western markets….“One route is from Turkmenistan via Kazakhstan to Russia,” Nazarbayev said. “Another route is to China, a third is via Iran to the Persian Gulf. And we don’t rule out using the Caspian as a transport corridor,” according to the Tehran Times.
MMC and ENRC Marketing & Sales signed contract for raw material delivery
Finam.ru (21st of March 2007)
Мagnitogosk Metallurgy Complex (MMC) and ENRC Marketing & Sales exclusive supplier of ores to Eurasian Natural Resource Corporation (ENRC) has announced that it has signed 10 year contract for ores delivery… From the words of MMC, ENRC Marketing & Sales will delivery ores for MMC from Sokolovk-Saribaysk enriching complex, which is part of ENRC… In accordance with agreement ENRC Marketing will supply metal ores, granules and other iron ores to MMC. Parties will maintain international standards in pricing its products.
Finance and Investment
Hapoalim moves toward Demir Purchase
Globes (Israel), (Sept 7, 2007)
Bank Hapoalim has taken another step towards taking over Demir Kazakhstan Bank (DKB), through Turkey’s BankPozitif Kredi ve Kalkinma Bankasi AS. BankPozitif still needs approval of the Kazakhstani banking authorities, and Bank Hapoalim needs approval of the Bank of Israel…Bank Hapoalim’s acquisition of DKB is a result of its acquisition of 57.55% of BankPozitif. BankPozitif is acquiring DKB for $34 million, at a multiple of 1.42 on shareholders’ equity. After the acquisition, Bank Hapoalim will inject capital into DKB, through BankPozitif, to increase DKB’s shareholders’ equity to $40 million…The Kazakhstani acquisition is part of Bank Hapoalim’s strategy to double the proportion of revenue from foreign operations to 30% of total revenue from the current 15%. As part of this strategy, the bank acquired Bank of New York - InterMaritime Bank Geneva, which it merged into Bank Hapoalim Switzerland, which opened a branch in Singapore in May. Another acquisition was broker dealer Investec USA Holdings…Bank Hapoalim also recently signed a credit agreement with Kazakhstan’s Bank TuranAlem.
Transportation and Communications
Kazakhstan building Railroad from Caspian Sea to Persian Gulf
SeaNews Russia, September 12, 2007
President Nursultan Nazarbaev announced that Kazakhstan plans to build a new railroad from the Kazakhstan coast of the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf through Turkmenistan and Iran…According to Interfax, it is planned that during the visit of President Nazarbaev to Turkmenistan on September 11, 2007 the agreement for the construction of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan section of the railroad will be signed.
Malaysia's LCL sees US $50 Million Revenue from Kazakhstan Unit
Forbes (September 14, 2007)
Malaysian interior fit-out company LCL Corp Bhd said revenue from its 51 percent owned Kazakhstan unit - LCL-SC Interior Creations LLP, is expected to reach US $50 million next year, the Business Times newspaper reported, citing group managing director Low Chin Meng….Low said LCL-SC is the exclusive supplier of interior fit-out products to a property developer in Kazakhstan known as Stroy Contract, which holds the remaining 49 percent stake in LCL-SC. …The company has estimated 200 million US dollars worth of property jobs in the country.“We are confident that Kazakhstan will be LCL's next growth driver,” Low said….Kazakhstan's potential construction and property boom mirrors the development in Middle-Eastern countries, which benefits from soaring petroleum prices.