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Fitch Affirms Kazakhtelecom at 'BB'; Outlook Positive
Fitch Ratings-Moscow/London-14 October 2015: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Kazakhtelecom JSC's (Kaztel) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB' with a Positive Outlook. A full list of rating actions is available at the end of this commentary.
16 2015 | Viewed: 318 | Press Releases | Read full
EITI Chair Clare Short met with President Ilham Aliyev during her visit to Baku
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Azerbaijans EITI implementation. Clare Short also met with Azerbaijans EITI multi-stakeholder group and members of the Coalition of Public Unions for improving transparency in the extractive industries in Azerbaijan.
13 2015 | Viewed: 323 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch Affirms Kazakhstan's Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna at 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings-Moscow/Milan/London-08 October 2015: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Kazakhstan-based JSC Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna's (SK) Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB+', Long-term local currency IDR at 'A-', National Long-term rating at 'AAA(kaz)' and Short-term foreign currency IDR at 'F2'. The Outlooks on the Long-term ratings are Stable.
9 2015 | Viewed: 413 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch Affirms KazTransOil at 'BBB'; Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings-Moscow/London-08 September 2015: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Kazakhstan-based JSC KazTransOil's (KTO) Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB' with a Stable Outlook. Fitch has simultaneously upgraded KTO's Long-term local currency IDR to 'BBB+' from 'BBB' with a Stable Outlook. KTO's National Long-term rating and National senior unsecured rating have also been upgraded to 'AAA(kaz)' from 'AA+(kaz)' to reflect the upgrade of KTO's Long-term local currency IDR. The Outlook on the National Long-term rating is Stable. A full list of rating actions is below.
9 2015 | Viewed: 358 | Press Releases | Read full
DIFC Courts to advise planned Astana International Financial Centre
Consultancy agreement will see DIFC Courts partner with National Bank of Kazakhstan to help create world class commercial court and arbitration center. 
4 2015 | Viewed: 356 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch Publishes Kazakh Banks Datawatch 2Q15
Fitch Ratings-Moscow-26 August 2015: Fitch Ratings has published the 'Kazakh Banks Datawatch 2Q15', consisting of key data from banks' regulatory financial statements and disclosure sourced primarily from the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) and Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KSE). The 2Q15 report consists of data in PDF and XLSX formats, charts and Fitch commentary, and covers 27 of the sector's 35 banks comprising 99% of the system assets.
27 2015 | Viewed: 359 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch: Devaluation Likely To Hurt Kazakh Banks' Asset Quality
Fitch Ratings-London-20 August 2015: The sharp devaluation of the tenge, which follows the scrapping of managed exchange rates on Thursday, is likely to affect both the asset quality and capital ratios of Kazakhstan's banks, says Fitch Ratings. 
24 2015 | Viewed: 315 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch Downgrades Kazkommertsbank to 'B-', Outlook Negative; Withdraws BTA Bank's and Moskommertsbanks Ratings
Fitch Ratings-Moscow-12 August 2015: Fitch Ratings has downgraded Kazakhstan-based Kazkommertsbank's (KKB) Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'B-' from 'B' and its Viability Rating (VR) to 'b-' from 'b'. The Outlook is Negative. 
17 2015 | Viewed: 381 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch: Kazakh Bond, FX Move Ease Near-Term Devaluation Risk
Fitch Ratings-New York/London-23 July 2015: Kazakhstan's Eurobond issue and widening of the tenge's trading band reduce the likelihood of a further step devaluation this year, Fitch Ratings says. But the key causes of exchange rate pressure remain. 
Kazakhstan last week issued USD4bn in 5.125% 10-year and 6.5% 30-year bonds from its USD10bn medium-term note programme. The National Bank of Kazakhstan raised the tenge's upper trading limit to 198 tenge per dollar, leaving the lower limit unchanged at 170. 
The hard-currency influx from the Eurobond issue, and the continued policy of controlled depreciation as the central bank shifts toward inflation targeting, limit the risk of another devaluation like that of February 2014. We have therefore revised our end-2015 KZT:USD forecast. We still expect the tenge to weaken and to reach the KZT198:USD limit by end-2015, but this would represent a drop of around 8.5% over the year, rather than the 20% devaluation we had previously factored in. 
Current account balance deterioration will maintain pressure on the tenge. We forecast the balance to swing to a deficit of 3% of GDP in 2015 from the 2.2% surplus in 2014, mainly due to lower hydrocarbon export revenues (export earnings fell 44% year on year in 5M15). The fiscal deficit will widen to 3% of GDP. 
The corridor adjustment is consistent with the gradual move towards inflation targeting by 2020 that the National Bank signalled in May. Greater exchange-rate flexibility would help cushion the economy and public finances from external shocks and could reduce incentives for dollarisation. Sharp devaluations in 2009 and 2014 have attempted to address the misalignment of the tenge with major trading partners' currencies, but have undermined public confidence in the monetary and exchange rate policy regimes (which we consider weak relative to ratings peers). Dollarisation of deposits was 52% in May, 15pp above the end-2013 level and only slightly below recent peaks. 
The affirmation of Kazakhstan's 'BBB+'/Stable rating in May reflected our view that the strong sovereign balance sheet should be able to withstand recent external shocks, notably the oil price fall, Russian recession, and China slowdown.
Kazakhstan has ample external liquidity - its external liquidity ratio is 255% when the assets of the National Fund are included, against a 'BBB' category median of 144% and an Emerging Europe median of 95%. National Bank foreign currency reserves have been relatively stable since December. The government has also drawn down hard-currency assets from the National Fund, which fell USD4.5bn (6%) in 1H15, to finance the budget deficit.
A low gross general government debt burden of around 15% of GDP in 2014 - although we see this rising towards 20% by 2017, while the National Fund remains broadly stable in dollar terms - gives the authorities headroom for fiscal stimulus. But they are keen to preserve the Fund as a fiscal buffer and have reportedly postponed some of the USD9bn spending it was to finance over 2015-2017. This suggests the authorities are adapting to a lower norm for oil prices, promoting economic reforms to stimulate investment and growth rather than relying on fiscal stimulus.
24 2015 | Viewed: 336 | Press Releases | Read full
Carlsberg Kazakhstan celebrates Irbis brand launch
On July 8 at the hottest summer spell Carlsberg Kazakhstan celebrated the most expected event of the year Irbis  relaunch - its one of the first local beer brands. The relaunch was successfully realized due to new rinser equipment, installed in beer filling department earlier this year. According to the legend, Irbis (translated as snow leopard) descended from the mountains peaks, in order to bring mountainous chill and freshness.
10 2015 | Viewed: 536 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch Rates Bank Centercredit's Upcoming Local Bonds 'B(EXP)'
Fitch Ratings-Moscow/London-08 July 2015: Fitch Ratings has assigned Bank Centercredit's (BCC) upcoming series 7 senior unsecured local currency bonds under the second bond issuance programme an expected Long-term rating of 'B(EXP)' and an expected National Long-term rating of 'BB+(kaz)(EXP)'. The issue's expected Recovery Rating is 'RR4(EXP)'. The issue's volume is KZT10bn, it matures in ten years and has a 9% coupon paid semi-annually.

The issue's ratings are aligned with BCC's Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'B' and National Long-term rating of 'BB+(kaz)'. BCC's ratings reflect its weak asset quality, moderate capitalisation, modest profitability and near-term business risks stemming from the slowdown in Kazakhstan's economy and lower oil prices. However, the ratings are supported by the bank's reasonable coverage of currently recognised problem loans, track record of continued debt repayments, solid liquidity cushion and limited amount of remaining senior wholesale funding.

Any changes to BCC's Long-term local currency IDR would impact the issue's ratings. The ratings would be downgraded in case of material further asset quality deterioration, capital erosion and/or a liquidity squeeze. An upgrade would require a balance sheet clean-up and/or significant improvements in capitalisation and core performance. 

Primary Analyst
Aslan Tavitov
Associate Director
+7 495 956 7065
Fitch Ratings CIS Ltd
26 Valovaya Street
Moscow 115054
Secondary Analyst 
Konstantin Yakimovich
Associate Director
+7 495 956 9978
Committee Chairperson
Olga Ignatieva
Senior Director
+7 495 956 6906
Media Relations: Julia Belskaya von Tell, Moscow, Tel: +7 495 956 9908, Email: julia.belskayavontell@fitchratings.com  
Date of relevant rating committee: 27 February 2015
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com
8 2015 | Viewed: 354 | Press Releases | Read full
Fitch Affirms Russia at 'BBB-'; Outlook Negative
Fitch Ratings-New York/London-03 July 2015: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Russia's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'BBB-' with a Negative Outlook. The senior foreign currency and local currency unsecured debt ratings have been affirmed at 'BBB-'. The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'BBB-' and the Short-term rating at 'F3'.
7 2015 | Viewed: 344 | Press Releases | Read full
Shell shareholders at risk from billion dollar Nigerian oil scandal, says Global Witness
AGM call for oil giant to stop lobbying against new transparency laws
19 2015 | Viewed: 334 | Press Releases | Read full
Shell shareholders at risk from billion dollar Nigerian oil scandal, says Global Witness
AGM call for oil giant to stop lobbying against new transparency laws
19 2015 | Viewed: 297 | Press Releases | Read full
Azerbaijan downgraded to candidate country
Azerbaijan was downgraded to candidate country following an EITI Validation which was carried out earlier this year. Validation is the EITIs independent evaluation mechanism and Azerbaijan is the first country to be validated against the 2013 EITI Standard.
16 2015 | Viewed: 376 | Press Releases | Read full
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