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Opinions and commentary of prominent figures in public life on news events, new developments in Kazakhstan and world events.
A choice isn't a choice when it is made with a gun to your head: British Ambassador Carolyn Browne

"After all, it will have no legal effect. It will have no moral force. And the result will not be recognised by the international community. It should not go ahead," summarising the British attitude towards the Crimea referendum.

CU single currency noncompetitive because of Kazakhstan and Belarus
Commenting on the possibility of creation of a single currency in the Customs Union and establishing a common emission center once the Eurasian Economic Union is created, experts from Russia and Kazakhstan says that the currency will be less competitive than even the Russian ruble because of the weakness of the economies of Belarus and Kazakhstan compared to that of Russia.
Tenge devaluation: Upside and downside

Kazakhstan’s tenge exchange rate set by the Central Bank may reach KZT 197-201 for USD 1, Saken Usser, Head of Corporate Clients Department at Freedom Finance investment company.

Imams should be appointed by Government: Kazakhstan MP

Majilis deputy Kamal Burkhanov suggested introducing a concordat in Kazakhstan so that clergymen could be appointed by competent public bodies.



Islamic financing: rebranding vs fighting ignorance

Experts believe that rebranding of Islamic financing in Kazakhstan could help dispel misperceptions and employ it to develop the economy.

Biological weapons in Almaty: ex-Deputy Defense Minister of Kazakhstan mistrusts America

Almaty’s new laboratory might have a dual purpose - civil and military (to create biological weapon). Ex-Deputy Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Amirbek Togusov believes that Kazakhstan has perfect conditions for development of a biological weapon: a huge territory with several different climate zones and diverse population genotype.

Integrated AA defense system to protect Kazakhstan and Russia

A Kazakh-Russian integrated AA defense system (Air Defense system) is required to protect both countries from possible superpower threats.

KazKom and Rakishev to by BTA Bank for 940 million dollars

Kazakhstan financial experts have shared their opinions on the cost of the deal to purchase BTA bank. KazKom bank and businessman Kenes Rakishev have declared themselves the potential buyers. The expected cost ranges from 200 million to 1 billion dollars.

Newly printed 20-thousand tenge notes exceed current amount of Kazakhstan cash 2.5-fold

The total value of all the 20-thousand tenge notes printed in Kazakhstan makes around 4 trillion tenge ($26 billion), Olzhas Khudaibergenov, Head of Macroeconomic Research Center, told Tengrinews.

Kazakhstan lawmakers see no reason to create Eurasian Parliament

"We are against politicization of economic processes or conferring the future economic union with any functions beyond the economic integration", "we have our own historical, national, political and economic values, which we cannot compromise no matter what," Kazakhstan lawmakers say.

Replacement of Senate Speaker may be sign of power succession in Kazakhstan

“He has been holding a conventional, peaceful stance; he is known for his attempts to act as a moderator among elite groups; he has never actively supported any of the groups. The only exception was in the early 2000s when Mr. Tokayev, the then Prime Minister, opposed a group of business elite that later formed the opposition movement titled Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan. However, usually he has abstained from intervening into tensions and clashes among powerful groups surrounding the Head of State”, Kazakhstan political analyst Dossym Satpayev describes the new Senate Speaker.

Opinion leaders comment looming anti-gay law in Kazakhstan

Prominent Kazakhstan figures have expressed their opinions about the law banning same-sex relations that is expected to be adopted in Kazakhstan shortly.

Experts suggest warning highschool students against online suicides communities

Kazakhstan is in the 9th place in the world by the number of teenage suicides. The authorities are concerned about the situation and poised to take steps and change things for the better. They are proposing to introduce an Internet safety course in the school curriculum. The classes will teach the students to stay away from websites promoting suicides and other illegal or dangerous things.

Experts view sale of Kashagan stake to Chinese as positive development

With the current ownership structure of the Kashagan consortium, the recent agreement with China’s CNPC poses no risks to Kazakhstan in the long run -- expert.

Vodka prices may rise 5-fold in Kazakhstan by 2020

The respective protocol of the Eurasian Economic Commission dated June 5, 2012 provides for use of equal excise tax in the Customs Union member-countries by 2020.

Kazakhstan political analysts see no political motives in Prime Plaza clashes

Kazakhstan political analysts believe that the clashes at the concert near Prime Plaza in Almaty that left 90 wounded and hundreds scared had no political motives.

Foreign airlines hinder operations of Kazakhstan companies: media

Aviation authorities of several countries and foreign airlines have been creating difficulties for Kazakhstan airlines.

Kazakhstan’s campaigners to hit the streets in protest of abolition of visas for the Chinese

Kazakhstan’s citizens are concerned over the planned abolition of visas between Kazakhstan and China. The active part of those opposing have summoned a press-conference and voiced their concerns.

Kazakhstan investors unlikely to sue Cyprus for slashing accounts

Financial experts doubt that Kazakhstan owners of slashed deposits in Cyprus will try to return their lost savings in court.

Much ado about Kashagan

Kazakhstan decision to purchase ConocoPhillips’ stake in Kashagan was not the best way for the project’s development. But the approach is politically neutral, as Kazakhstan does not have to choose between India and China.

Reasons behind Kazakhstan Oil Minister replacement

Kazakhstan’s political analysts have shared their opinions with a Tengrinews.kz journalist on possible reasons behind Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynabayev’s being relieved of duties. Their opinions appeared to be quite contradictory.

Use of heptyl is a relic of the past: ecologists

Kazakhstan ecologists told about the harm caused by the crash of Russian rocket Proton-M at Baikonur.

China leaves no chances to bidders for Kashagan stake

The $15 billion offer of the Chinese for the 8.4 percent stake of American ConocoPhillips in Kashagan oil project is a strong commercial move that leaves no chance to the competitors (Indian and other companies): senior analyst of the Agency for Research of Investments Profitability Murat Abulgazin.

Military actions in Afghanistan may spill into Central Asia

Development of the military-political situation in the North Caucasus and in certain regions of the post-Soviet space largely depends on political regulation of events in Afghanistan: expert.

Vodka prices may rise 5-fold in Kazakhstan by 2020

The minimum retail price will grow almost 5-fold. This will be a gigantic growth with an extreme breakaway from the real life -- expert.

Equaling retirement age is reasonable only if men start giving birth: head of Halyk Bank

Chairwoman of Halyk Bank Umut Shayakhmetova shared her opinion about raising the retirement age for women in Kazakhstan.

Local companies may close after Kazakhstan enters WTO

The number of vineyards has shrank almost 6-fold in the last 20 years. There are currently not more than 3-4 thousand hectares of vineyards compared to 27 thousand hectares in 1990: expert.

Ridding of toxic loans too costly for Kazakhstan banks: expert
It is more costly for Kazakhstan banks to get rid of their distressed assets than to continue keeping them.
China is no threat to Kazakhstan's banking

The growth of deposits kept with the Bank of China 4.7 times is not that impressive against the backdrop of overall growth across banks: analyst.

Shorter workday could cut unemployment of young professionals

Raising of the retirement age for Kazakhstan women from 58 to 64 is expected to cause a jobs deficit for young people. The planned gradual rise of the retirement age for women will mean that there will be 30 percent less vacancies opening for new graduates in the next 10 years. A shortened workday may be a way to lower unemployment rate among young people.

Modernization of retirement system may cause resentment in Kazakhstan

The main reason of this retirement reform lays in lack of budget money. And the budget is made not only from pension or private savings, but also from the production accumulations.

Kazakhstan political experts comment on Yertysbayev's new appointment

Kazakhstan political experts have shared their opinions on the appointment of Yermukhamet Yertysbayev Kazakhstan as ambassador to Georgia.

Experts on raise of retirement age in Kazakhstan

How can we make men’s and women’s retirement age equal?! Women have completely different problems than men: giving birth and raising children, housework that includes cooking, washing and other family stuff. Then Kelimbetov has to initiate the Government decree to oblige all men to take over 50 percent of the housework! -- Kanat Berentayev.

Financial experts discredit single pension fund's prospects

Kazakhstan's financial experts express their opinions about the single pension fund initiative.

Transit flights should be redirected to Kapshagai airport

Chairman of Kazakhstan Air Carriers Associations Vladimir Kuropatenko expressed his opinion about moving Almaty airport outside the city.

Pros and cons of Kazakhstan's single pension fund

I personally don’t believe that our officials are able to effectively manage anything: Aidar Alibayev. Creation of the single pension fund is a step in the right direction, it steps up the guarantees provided by the state: Olzhas Khudaibergenov. It is unlikely that the process will have anything to do with the opinions of the pension fund’s clients -- Zhuldyz Almatbayeva.

Kazakhstan political experts criticize Russia's position on Baikonur

If there are no collisions between the two countries' leaders, this means that there are lobbyists in the space sector who want to solve their issues by means of such publications: Aidos Sarym.

Now we will know who really invests in development of the space sector, who really dictates the conditions and  what our agency is doing there, what our prospects are and whether Kazakhstan will be able to own the space harbor and use it by itself: Nurlan Yerimbetov.

Foreigners speak about life in Kazakhstan's Atyrau

Foreigners living and working in Kazakhstan share their impressions of Atyrau, Kazakhstan’s city of oilmen, in their posts published on the Internet. The posts range from warnings of potential dangers to opinions of cultural sites and local customs.

Obama wins the U.S. presidency - What is it to Kazakhstan?

Obama was re-elected for the second term with 303 votes of the electors vs the required minimum of 270 votes. Meanwhile, his Republican rival Mitt Romney received 203 votes. Election of one person or another does not have a decisive effect on America's political strategy. Of course, there are differences in details, but the concept remains unchanged: Director of the Institute of Asian Research Sultan Akimbekov.

Rise of petrol prices unjustified in Kazakhstan

Petrol prices were raised in Kazakhstan on October 3. The Agency for Natural Monopolies Regulation stated that the rise was related to increasing prices for Brent oil from $104.09 to $114.8 per barrel. It is not appropriate to refer to some spike in oil prices at the world’s market to justify the rise in petrol prices at the local market of oil producing Kazakhstan: Expert.

New crisis wave in Kazakhstan depends on U.S. elections

The next financial crisis in Kazakhstan and Russia depends on the presidential elections in the U.S., prominent economist, professor of the Finance Academy of Russian Government Andrey Gussev told Tengrinews.kz.
According to him, those who are trying to frighten us with talks about the second and third waves of the crisis without considering the energy market conditions are groundlessly causing panic.
“It is not a secret for anyone that both Kazakhstan and Russian economies strongly depend on hydrocarbon prices,” the economist said.