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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Assett Quality Of Kazakh Banks Continues To Decline

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev called last week for the creation of a "stressed assets fund" as assets provided to banks as collateral for loans lose value, threatening the country's banking sector. The diminishing value of assets put up as collateral ``doesn't allow banks to recoup their expenses,'' Nazarbayev told lawmakers in the capital Astana.

Kazakhstan's 36 banks increased their collective loan portfolio to 8.96 trillion tenge ($74.9 billion), an increase of 0.98 percent from the beginning of the year, the Agency for Financial Supervision said on Aug. 20, adding that the portfolio quality ``deteriorated, as expected,'' as the share of ``bad loans'' increased from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent.

Kazakhstan August Inflation Hits 20.1% In August

Kazakh inflation accelerated to 20.1 percent in August, the fastest pace since March 2000, led by electricity prices. The inflation rate rose from 20 percent a month earlier, according to the latest data from the Astana-based State Statistics Agency. Consumer prices rose 0.8 percent in the month.

Prices for communal services rose 2.5 percent in August, led by a 7.6 percent jump in the cost of electricity. Service-industry prices advanced a monthly 2.2 percent. Air transportation grew 1.4 percent, and the price of railway services increased 0.5 percent. Food prices remained stable in August from a month earlier. Rice rose 3.4 percent, sugar 2.1 percent and flour 1.1 percent, while fresh vegetables dropped 4.7 percent and fruits 3.8 percent. Non-food prices rose 0.7 percent from July, led by a 2.6 percent increase in gasoline. Diesel fuel prices advanced 2.1 percent.

In an additional measure to fight inflation Kazakhstan barred the export of rapeseed, rapeseed oil and soybean oil as it seeks to stabilize prices. Exports were banned until April 1, according to an order published today in the government's official newspaper Kazakhstanskaya Pravda.