Republic of Kazakhstan
The Republic of Kazakhstan is a founder and a major participant of the Bank holding approximately one third of the participatory interests in the Bank’s charter capital (US$500 million).
In Q4 2015, GDP growth accelerated and reached 1.7% year-on-year and 1.2% over 2015. With the critical fall in raw material prices and limited demand from trade partners (the EEU, China, Europe), positive growth can be explained by two factors: the government's anti-crisis measures financed from the public budget, as well as by large state-owned corporations, international financial institutions and foreign borrowings, and favourable effects of the recovered economic competitiveness. These measures supported investment activity (+3.7% over the year) and constrained the decline in consumer demand. This resulted in growth in construction (+4.3%), services, some processing services (including metallurgy) and agriculture (+4.4%). Growth in these industries compensated a decline in mining (-2.5%) and a slowdown in trade (+0.3%).
Given the unfavourable external conditions throughout the year and a decrease in the balance of trade surplus (6.8% of GDP in 2015 as against an average of 19% over 2005-2014), the current account showed a deficit in each quarter, which amounted to -2.9% of GDP as at year-end after five years of surplus. The balance of payments’ condition was exacerbated by lower foreign direct investments and higher internal speculative demand for foreign currency, in the context of the overall depreciation of currencies in developing countries, including the Russian rouble. In this difficult context, the balance of payments was supported with international reserves, foreign borrowings and repatriation of the National Fund of Kazakhstan's money. However, in August 2015, the country had to adjust structural external imbalances by changing the nominal exchange rate.
The government and consolidated budgets, whose condition deteriorated simultaneously with the economic slowdown and reductions in foreign trade, improved significantly in Q4 2015. In 2015, fiscal revenues grew by 4.3% year-on-year, due to, predominantly, the positive effect of tenge adjustment on tax payments by major taxpayers, in particular raw material exporters. A moderate increase in expenditure (1.7%) was ensured by the consolidation and optimisation of expenses not used in financing anti-crisis measures. As a result, the government budget deficit declined to 2.2% of GDP (2.9% in 2014) and the consolidated budget had a significant surplus, in particular due to increased investment revenues from management of the National Fund of Kazakhstan.
In the context of reduced net exports, the strong pressure on the tenge and high inflation expectations (inflation was 13.6% as at end-December), the monetary policy remained stringent, especially after transition to inflation targeting and sharp tenge depreciation. Interest rates remained high while lending (despite the active government support) and money supply were decreasing intensely over most part of 2015. Regulatory measures helped to decrease the share of non-performing loans to 8% as at year-end.
EDB’s priorities in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is one of the largest and most sustainably developing economies among the EDB member states. The country is faced with the challenge of: improving the competitiveness of those sectors that are not related to raw materials; reducing the energy intensity of its economy; and attracting investment. In this context in the framework of its Strategy for 2013–2017:
• EDB supports the Governmental Programme on Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development and stands ready to participate in financing projects implemented in the framework of this programme.
• EDB will also take proactive efforts to engage international financial organisations, banks, and investment funds in co-financing investment projects in Kazakhstan.
• In addition, EDB stands ready to facilitate implementation of investment projects to help bring new technologies to the economy, develop automobile manufacturing, chemical industry, glass and pipe manufacturing, inter alia through supporting joint ventures created with other member states. EDB will support projects of enterprise modernisation in such sectors as machine building, power generation, petrochemical and light industries.
• To boost the export potential of the economy, EDB will continue its support of export-oriented projects in the agro-industrial sector.