• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 9

Central Asia Needs $12 Billion to Secure Drinking Water

According to the new research paper “Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation in Central Asia” released by the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), almost 10 million people, or 14% of the population, have poor access to safe drinking water in Central Asia. Water withdrawals for drinking and domestic use increased twofold to reach 8.6 km3 between 1994 and 2020. Investment in its supply infrastructure, however, failed to match growth in consumption. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the region’s water and sanitation equipment is no longer fit for purpose. In addition, physical and commercial water losses in distribution networks can be as high as 55%. The EDB research paper highlights a clear lack of  financial support for plans adopted by Central Asia to develop the sector, and forecasts a deficit of over $12 billion, or around $2 billion per year, between 2025-30. The largest shortfall is expected in Uzbekistan, estimated at $826 million per year, or almost $5 billion between 2025–30. A large shortfall is also projected for Kazakhstan at $700 million per year, or $4.2 billion from 2025–30. In Tajikistan, the shortfall will also be significant, given the size of the country’s economy, reaching $209 million per year, or more than $1.2 billion from 2025–30. To address the issue, the EDB paper outlines three solutions that could help Central Asian countries raise the required investment capital. First, the funding gap can be reduced by attracting finance from international financial institutions (IFIs), multilateral development banks, and development agencies. The water and sanitation sector in Central Asia currently accounts for only 6% of total IFI-approved sovereign funding provided to the region CA, with 147 projects valued at $4 billion (out of a total of $67.5 billion) completed from 2008–2023. Concerted efforts are required to improve the appeal of investment in the sector to attract more active involvement by IFIs. With the emergence of a new, favourable institutional environment and the arrival of private players, the potential of the corporate investment becomes significant. Secondly, to attract the much-needed finance from private investors and major players, the CA water and sanitation sector must not only  modify the ownership and governance structure, but also create conditions conducive to the effective development of market relations. Regarding the above, Evgeny Vinokurov, EDB Chief Economist, stated, “The strengthening of public-private partnership institutions can be of great help. With PPPs active in the water sector, state and private structures will be able to cooperate in a more productive fashion. Expansion of the water sector services market will boost competitiveness and improve the operating efficiency of individual companies. The presence of strong PPP institutions is likely to encourage private operators to join water sector projects. The advent of private players will help the CA countries to attract investments and gain access to innovations, technologies, and experience required to modernise the sector.” Thirdly, improving the tariff system is becoming increasingly compelling. Water tariffs in the region are extremely low and could therefore be raised to improve the financial sustainability...

Focus on Central Asia’s Acute Shortage of Drinking Water

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) has declared water availability a particularly acute challenge in Central Asia, given that 10 million people, or 14% of the region’s population, currently lack access to safe drinking water. Between 1994 and 2020, water withdrawals for municipal and domestic needs doubled to 8.6 cubic kilometres. However, since investment in drinking water falls short of meeting the growing demand, the infrastructure for the supply and treatment of water has severely deteriorated. The challenges facing the sector highlight the need for large-scale investment in water supply and sanitation in Central Asia. The annual funding deficit to meet the targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 (to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) is estimated to reach US $2 billion by 2025–2030. In response, EDB analysts have prepared a report to assess the level of investment required by the region to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal by 2030, including proposals for practical steps to secure the necessary funding. Titled “Water and Sanitation in Central Asia”, the report will be launched on 28 June at the Eurasian Development Bank’s Business Forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  

Pavel Durov’s Visit to Issyk-Kul Sparks Investment Hopes

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram and VK, has visited the Issyk-Kul region in Kyrgyzstan, generating significant interest amidst speculations about a potential investment in a large-scale project. The government are currently keen on attracting investment in the Three Peaks ski resort, and local authorities believe that his involvement could substantially enhance the potential of the project. Durov’s presence as an investor is seen as a strategic move that could attract additional capital and provide invaluable advertising support. Durov is traveling with Russian blogger Huseyn Gasanov, whom sources suggest could play a mediating role in the negotiations with the local authorities. The presence of Durov and Gasanov has not gone unnoticed by locals. The pair were recently spotted at the Petroglyphs Park in Cholpon-Ata, sparking rumors and excitement among residents. Many hope that this high-profile visit will lead to concrete investment plans and significantly boost the local economy.

Kazakhstan and Qatar to Implement Projects Worth $17.6 Billion

On March 20th the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov attended a meeting in Qatar with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. During discussions, Bektenov emphasized the importance of the two countries’ economic partnership in the Arab world and reported on the imminent implementation of large-scale and strategically significant investment projects worth an unprecedented amount of $17.6 billion. The governments of Kazakhstan and Qatar subsequently signed an agreement on establishing a long-term strategic partnership for the development of projects in priority sectors. Projects include the construction of gas processing plants in Kazakhstan at a cost of around $5.7 billion. The additional construction of a Aktobe-Kostanay gas pipeline and the second section of the Beineu-Bozoy-Shymkent gas pipeline for a total cost of around $7.7 billion, will develop gas supplies to Kazakhstan's northern regions. A further investment of around $2.7 billion will fund the construction of a combined cycle gas power plant with a capacity of 1,100 MW, and a hydroelectric power plant with a capacity of 350 MW, to ensure long-term energy security of Kazakhstan. With reference to agriculture, the Prime Minister declared Kazakhstan’s readiness to supply halal and organic products to Qatar, and stated that the two countries are on course to construct plants for the deep processing of wheat, peas and milk in Kazakhstan.

Air Astana: LSE’s largest IPO of 2024 Set to Test Appetite of Investors

Shares of Central Asia's largest airline Air Astana are now for sale to the public in London, with the company's global depositary receipts (GDRs) trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The GDRs were priced for this month's IPO at $9.50 a piece last week when conditional dealings in began on the LSE and Kazakhstan's Astana International Exchange (AIX). Today, Air Astana's local shares trading on the Almaty's KASE bourse are up 6.1% to 1,241 tenge, whilst dollar-priced GDRs trading on Astana's AIX are down 1.1% to $10.08 at an intra-day volume of just under 30,000 GDRs. The LSE's largest IPO of 2024 to date is set to gauge the demand of frontier and emerging market equity investors for exposure to Central Asian stocks in the aftermath of Russia's 2022 attack on Ukraine. Companies like Air Astana, and notably its low-cost carrier unit Fly Arystan, have in some ways benefited from the disruptions caused by the war and its consequent matrix of international sanctions as people and goods are re-routed through Kazakhstan. Conversely, the threat of more instability in the region and the risks of higher inflation, fuel and operating costs will undoubtedly remain on the minds of potential investors. The IPO in London and Kazakhstan represents a meaningful step for the latter's sovereign wealth fund, Samruk Kazyna, which plans to continue putting the shares of state companies on public markets. According to one former IPO manager from a European bank who declined to be named as the IPO process was underway, Air Astana's offering is the "clearest test in the IPO market to date of investor belief in Kazakhstan’s continued economic development." He also noted that it's "positive to see that four of the nine directors are independent, with three of those independent directors being from outside Kazakhstan" in terms of corporate governance. Air Astana's results for the first nine months of 2023, which were published on December 12th, showed positive top-line growth in revenue, operating profit, and passenger-kilometers flown metrics versus 2022, though the carrier did see a 1% dip in EBITDAR margin (operating profit as a percentage of its revenue) to 28% which investors may focus on going forward.

USAID Helps Improve Kazakhstan’s Investment Legislation

On February 2nd in Astana the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a joint Investment Forum. The event was organized to propose changes to Kazakhstan’s investment legislation, and to highlight important achievements supported by the USAID Kazakhstan Rule of Law Program, run by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). The program has partnered with the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan and the company Kazakh Invest, overseen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Over 50 participants, representing the government, judiciary, business community, investors, and local and international experts participated in the event. The forum was opened by the chairman of the Supreme Court, Aslambek Mergaliyev, who stressed the need for reform in order to attract investors.  At the forum, the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan Daniel Rosenblum commented: “Today’s Investment Forum organized by the American Bar Association is yet another example of the long-term and very strong U.S.-Kazakhstan partnership in support of the rule of law, as it relates to economic policy, foreign investment, and the business climate. I am pleased that this forum will be repeated next year as well, providing an ongoing platform for discussions on issues that are important to foreign investors. We also mark the conclusion of the USAID Rule of Law Program in Kazakhstan, which over the past four years has helped improve the legal environment for protecting investments and strengthen the professional development and independence of Kazakhstan’s judiciary.”