Moody has raised Kazakhstan’s sovereign rating to Baa3 and improved its prognosis from negative to stable. It cited the economy’s increasing adaptiveness to low oil prices as a decisive factor for the decision. Kazakhstan has used funds to help lenders with huge bad debt portfolios address their liabilities before international creditors. The country’s low debt burden and accumulation of financial reserves has permitted the government to apply effective measures to stimulate the national economy and thereby avoid a recession. Moody believes that Kazakhstan will be able to stabilize the assets of National Fund at around $60 billion, provided oil remains within the $40-60 corridor.
The EXPO 2017 exhibition site in Astana will be transformed into Astana International Finance Center (AIFC) by the end of the year. At the core of the AIFC will be a stock exchange and a finance hub for companies doing business under an independent court system based on English common law. Businesses that relocate to AIFC will pay lower rents and be exempt from income tax for 50 years. Several analysts are skeptical of AIFC's chances of success pointing out that infrastructure is just a part of what is needed to create a global financial center. There will be questions about corporate governance and safety of foreign investments.
Uzbekistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 7% in first half of this year from 7.8% rise in same period a year ago. International Monetary Fund has forecast Uzbekistan’s GDP growth at 6% in 2017-2018.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has decided to set up a University of Central Asia Pakistan (UCAP) to provide higher education to students of Central Asian states. Classes are scheduled to begin from September 2018. The varsity would be temporarily housed in the building of Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSAT) Institute established in Pakistan in 1994.
August 17, 2017