Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan offer Turkey an alternative to Russian route

After Russia imposed a ban on the transit of Turkish trucks, a new, Caspian route has come to the fore as an alternative. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan already saw an opportunity to cash in on the deteriorated relations. Astana expects an increase in turnover through the Europe-Caucasus-Asia Transport corridor (TRACECA) and an opportunity for Kazakh producers…

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Kazakhstan seeks to develop nuclear energy

Kazakhstan, ranked first in the world in terms of uranium reserves, is now undertaking  a transition to nuclear power.  Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and Kazakhstan´s Energy Ministry are on the move to sign an intergovernmental agreement on constructing nuclear plant in Kazakhstan. Drop in oil prices, energy and environmental reasoning are believed to be pushing Kazakhstan…

Exploring the Kazakh Economy: An Interview with Sabit Khakimzhanov

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Sabit Khakimzhanov,  the head of research at Halyk Finance, a leading Kazakh investment bank focused on Central Asia. Khakimzhanov is an authority on the Kazakh economy and investment climate, and has written and spoken widely on Kazakh monetary policy. Dr. Khakimzhanov has a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from…

Kazakhstan refutes Russian claim on introduction of common Eurasian currency

Kazakhstan refuted a Russian parliamentary member’s comments that a common currency for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) called evraz is in the works. President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Press Secretary Dauren Abayev stated that the prospect of introducing a common currency with the Union’s four other members, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, is not on the agenda.…

Russia and Kazakhstan in talks with OPEC countries over oil prices

In response to sagging oil prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Export Countries (OPEC) held a meeting in Vienna first time with eight non-member states including Russia and Kazakhstan. Previously, Russia and some other oil producers refused to work with OPEC.  Participation from Russia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil created the hope that they may assist in taking…

Kazakhstan: Central Bank Buys 10% Share in KazMunaiGas

Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund announced the sale of a 10% stake in state energy company KazMunaiGas (KMG). The move is being described as an unusual yet necessary action given the downturn in the Kazakh economy engendered by persistently low oil prices. The transaction was seemingly made in order to increase liquidity in the state-run oil company and…

Immobile Capital and the Politics of Corruption: An Interview with Lawrence Markowitz

In April 2015 we had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Lawrence Markowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Economics at Rowan University. Dr. Markowitz has researched and published extensively on the politics of state failure and authoritarian rule in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of State Erosion: Unlootable Resources…

Kazakhstan announces shift to floating exchange rate in 3-5 years

The Central Bank of Kazakhstan’s governor, Kairat Kelimbetov, tantalizingly announced once again that it intends to move away from its currency peg to the dollar and move towards what it called an “inflation targeting” method, implying a switch to a floating exchange rate regime. Bloomberg conducted an extensive interview with Kelimbetov where he explicitly stated…