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Atameken major business lobbying group suggests National Oil Fund assets be used to finance SMBs

22 february 2012, 16:23
0
©REUTERS/Bobby Yip
©REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Atameken Economic Chamber of Kazakhstan, a major business lobbying group in Kazakhstan, has asked the Kazakh Government to use part of the National Oil Fund assets to finance S&MBs;, the Chamber’s Head Ablai Myrzakhmetov announced February 22.

“In his latest State of the Nation Address [January 27], President Nazarbayev suggested the National Oil Fund money be used in the form of loans to the national economy rather than kept with foreign banks. We believe we are ready to put forward a number of suggestions on injecting part of the money to support S&MBs; in non-extractive sectors”, Mr. Myrzakhmetov said when speaking at the Chamber’s sitting.

“We believe the National Oil Fund could provide affordable loans to finance fixed assets for S&MBs; working in non-extractive sectors. Loans to facilitate manufacturing industries could be given at the APR of 7-8% for 8-10 years”, he said.

He elaborated that “the small and middle-sized businesses in the post-crisis period are facing lack of loans. Despite the reported growth of lending, in processing industries S&MBs; are underfinanced. And it is a major problem”, he summed up.

The National Fund of Kazakhstan was created in 2000 as a stabilization fund that accumulates windfall revenues from oil sales and ensures the economy of Kazakhstan will be stable against the price swings of oil. The assets of the National Fund assets are monitored by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan. As of February 1, 2012, assets of the National Oil Fund made up $45.5 billion.

Loans from the National Oil Fund [to finance large-scaled investment projects] could be provided on the basis of public-private partnership, with the most of the financial burden placed on strategic investors, National Bank’s Governor Gregory Marchenko said earlier this month.

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