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National Oil Fund assets to finance projects involving strategic investors: Central Bank Governor

15 february 2012, 12:43
0
Gregory Marchenko. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Gregory Marchenko. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
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, Newskaz.ru quoted National Bank’s Governor Gregory Marchenko as saying.

In his State of the Nation Address January 27, 2012, 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.

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.

“From the National Bank’s point of view, the public-private partnership would be optimum”, Mr. Marcheno said at a press-conference in Almaty February 13.

According to him, virtually all the projects to be potentially financed out of the National Fund involve strategic investors from South Korea, China or Russia.

“The optimum structure would be for the investors to provide 51-60% of the funds for a particular project, with another 20% to be provided as a loan out of the National Oil Fund, with the rest of the amount raised through special state-supported bonds to be purchased by pension funds [as an investment tool]”, Mr. Marchenko said.

The Central Bank’s Governor believes such a scheme would make the spending more transparent. “Our stance is that there should be some mid-term projects; most of the funds should be provided by strategic investors. In case a project is financed both by strategic investors and the National Fund, the process is more visible and manageable”, he elaborated.

He also stressed that according to the National Bank’s estimates, in 2012 funds of the National Oil Fund may not be needed for such projects.

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