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Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Units May Borrow 1 Trillion Tenge

Companies owned by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, Samruk-Kazyna, may borrow 1 trillion tenge ($6.6 billion) next year to fund investments and acquisitions.

The companies plan to spend 2 trillion tenge on transactions such as investment projects and stake purchases, Nurlan Rakhmetov, the fund’s managing director, said yesterday in a phone interview from the capital, Astana. Half will come from debt and half from internal cash, he said.

Samruk-Kazyna’s units may raise debt internationally or at home, Rakhmetov said, with energy producer KazMunaiGaz National Co. poised to borrow $2.5 billion. The fund itself doesn’t plan to borrow.

Samruk-Kazyna was created in 2008 by combining the agency that managed the government’s stakes in companies with another that focused on economic development. The fund and its units, which operate in energy, mining, transport, banking and real estate, have revenue equal to about a quarter of gross domestic product, according to Rakhmetov.

The fund will analyze its companies’ accounts and financial plans to determine the viability of lending within the group, Rakhmetov said. Instead of keeping money on deposit at banks, those with spare cash may be able to lend to other units “for mutual benefit,” he said.

Private Equity

Samruk-Kazyna, which will get 15 percent of its units’ profits as dividends this year, plans to spend 73 billion tenge on investments and dividends to the government in 2013, Rakhmetov said. Samruk-Kazyna Invest will get 19 billion tenge to create new enterprises capable of producing goods for the fund’s other companies, he said.

“We want them to work like a private equity fund by building such companies and later selling them to private investors,” Rakhmetov said. “We take money from mature companies and invest it in units with prospects.”

Samruk-Kazyna, which became a conduit to bail out banks in 2008, accounts for a third of corporate deposits in Kazakh lenders, according to the fund’s website. Kazakhstan’s 38 banks had 5.4 trillion tenge of corporate deposits as of Nov. 1, the central bank’s financial oversight committee said on its website.

-- Editors: Andrew Langley, Jeffrey Donovan

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