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Central Bank Governor on Kazakhstan’s foreign debt

06 june 2013, 18:03
Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Central Bank Governor Gregory Marchenko believes the country’s foreign debt is no thereat, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports.

At a plenary sitting in the country’s Senate, Senator Ikram Adyrbekov asked Mr. Marchenko to comment on the “foreign debt currently standing at $137 billion”.

Mr. Marchenko elaborated that “the foreign debt of the public sector (debt of the Government and the National Bank) made up $5.5 billion”. “I want to emphasize that the Government has the National Oil Fund [accumulating oil windfall revenues] worth $63.3 billion, with all of the assets invested abroad. If to take the foreign debt in its broader sense of the word, that is inclusive debt of the state-owned enterprises, Development Bank of Kazakhstan and banks wherein Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund holds stakes, the aggregated foreign debt stands at $31.5 billion. In line with international standards, the figure is less than 16% of the country’s GDP and is no threat”, he said.

Mr. Marchenko stressed the Government should make sure the foreign debt of the quasi public sector is not growing fast.

“The so-called intercompany debts stand at $66.5 billion, half of the current Kazakhstan’s overall foreign debt. In some countries intercompany debts are not included into the country’s foreign debt figure. (…) Kazakhstan has succeeded in attracting foreign investments: the aggregated figure since gaining independence [back in 1991] exceeded $170 billion, with part of the money being provided as loans to Kazakhstan-based subsidiaries. If a subsidiary is indebted to its parent company, it doesn’t mean Kazakhstan’s citizens are indebted. If a subsidiary doesn’t pay off its debt, there will be no burden on Kazakhstan’s citizens. As of today the foreign debt is no threat to the Kazakh economy”, Mr. Marchenko believes.

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