Finance In Brief

Capitalization of the market of Non-state Securities of Kazakhstan on April 14 - $1,486.9 million

/IRBIS, Apr.14/

On April 14 capitalization of the exchange market of Non-state Securities of Kazakhstan (A + B + N without the State Block of Shares) has amounted to $1,486.9 million.

For two weeks capitalization has decreased by $718.36 mostly due to excluding from the Non-listing Securities sector shares of two big companies: JSC Aksaigasservice a JSC Usenmunaigas. The shares were excluded on the basis of the companies' applications and in connection with absence of deals in these tools within last six month.

Decrease in prices of common shares of JSC Bank CentrCredit by 10.3% and of common shares of JSC Corporation Kazahmys by 1.1 has a certain effect also.

The deals can be made on KASE today in 57 tools of the 37 companies and 4 state blocks of shares.

Weeks volume of trades in Non-state Securities on KASE - $71,105

/IRBIS, April 14/

During 16th (April 10 - 16) on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange the traders' activity has increased in the last day of week. 10 deals were made in Private Securities to the total sum of 71,105 dollars, which is by 0.75% ($0.5) more than in the previous week, when 5 deals were made.

In total 50,104 securites (47,094 stoks and 3.010 bonds) were purchased compared to 9,337 in the previous week.

The trade in common shares of JSC Komirbank were most liquid. They have occupied 43.5% from total number of deals.

Also deals were made in:

� common shares of JSC Bank CentCredit (20.5%);

� preferred registered shares of JSC Aluminyi Kazakstana (17.9%);

� preferred registered shares of TNK Kazachrom (10.9%).

Transaction in the preferred shares of JSC Sokolovsko-Sarbajskoe mining-processing enterprise" (Rudnyi, SSGPp, sector "Not listing Securities, second level of admission) was conducted for the first the sum of $4,479.

9 transactions have been conducted in the KASE Quoted System, excluding automatic satisfaction of the counter auction applications; one transaction was made in the counter auction mode.

Weekly Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan balance on the SS domestic market - minus 2,437.0 million tenges

/IRBIS, Apr. 14/

The Ministry of Finance has finished 16th calendar week (April 10 � 16) in the State Securities primary market with the following results. At actual volume of redemption of 3.265.5 million tenges (2,199.5 mln tenges + 7.5 mln USD at the official rate on the current day � the AVMEKAM coupon payment executed on April 10) the emitter attracted 828.5 million tenges.

The week balance of the emitter is minus 2,437.0 million tenges.

U.S. dollar market of Kazakhstan: day results

/IRBIS, Apr.14/

Following is the table of major indicators of Kazakhstani market for U.S. dollar (more than 98% of country's all currency market).

Trades in U.S. dollars at Kazakhstan stock exchange (KASE)

Session  Main  Additional.  Evening  Evening
Time of the trades (ALM)  10:15 - 11:00  11:30 - 15:30  14:00 - 18:00  14:00 - 18:00p
Weighted average rate  142.31 (-0.10)  Not indicated  �  �
Volume of the session (mln)  4.205 (+0.130)  2.205  0  0
Bid  142.29  142.16  �  �
Offer  142.31  142.21  � 
Number of participants  15  0

Indicative U.S. dollar quotations on interbank market in information system REUTERS at closing of KASE sessions (disregarding settlement dates)

Bid  142.27  142.16    142.09
Offer  142.32  142.24    142.18

Notes: Best bid and ask prices at closing of the trades are shown as the Exchange quotations.

By indicative interbank quotations of the dollar in REUTERS information system, tenge gained 21 points in comparison with previous day closing on demand and 17 points supply of the American currency.

The last day of the week on currency market of the country was characterized by a decline in total activity of the participants, which was mainly because the dealers lost their interest in dollars when the exchange rate of this currency was falling. An effective placement of notes, conducted by the National Bank on the eve, played a certain role.

Throughout the day the exchange rate of the American currency was inclined to fall, though during the main and additional trades of the Exchange the price of the dollar changed its direction several times. Dealers are trying to reverse the tendency, but the supply of the clients of the banks does not allow them to do so. The market seems to be unstable and volatile. Traders note that the trend can change its direction any time when a quite strong impulse is created. IRBIS analysts believe that the deadline for making tax payments for the year 1999 can serve as a impulse. It is possible that the need to make such payments is forcing the exporters to sell their dollars.

Today indicative quotations of interbank market were marked by a vivid trend of firming tenge, which was observed from the morning till the very closing of the market. However, the banks do not have a deficit of tenge. Overnight rates remain within working limits � 4.5-5/8-9 APR.

Nikkei nosedives 8% in morning trading

By Alexandra Harney

Tokyo, Apr 17 (FT)

Tokyo stocks plunged more than 8 per cent in morning trading on Monday and appeared to be heading for a record decline in a frenzied reaction to last week's collapse on Wall Street.

In a dizzying nosedive that stunned analysts, the benchmark Nikkei 225 average shed 1,750.79 points or 8.6 per cent to close the morning session at 18,683.89. The fall forced the Tokyo Stock Exchange to suspend trading in Topix futures and arbitrage selling of stock indices temporarily.

�Everyone has suddenly turned very bearish,� said Garry Evans, strategist at HSBC Securities. �The market has a lot further to fall.�

At mid-day the Topix index of all first-section shares was down 7.9 per cent or 130.53 points to 1,523.17. The more representative Nikkei 300 closed down 7.3 per cent or 23.46 points at 298.67.

The meltdown - which follows the largest single-day decline in the Nasdaq and Dow Jones industrial average on Friday - could turn out to be the greatest percentage fall in Japanese stock markets since August 19, 1991, when the Nikkei 225 index lost 5.95 per cent. The largest decline followed the �Black Monday� collapse on Wall Street in October 1987, when the Nikkei shed 14.9 per cent.

Technology shares took the brunt of the fall, with mobile phone distributor Hikari Tsushin down its daily limit to �30,800. This means the stock was worth only 12 per cent of its intra-day peak of �241,000 only two months ago.

Softbank, the leading internet group, was ask-only at �56,300, down from a peak of �198,000. Sony was also ask-only at �12,880 compared with Friday's close of �13,280.

Traders complained that the slump had pushed many issues down their daily limits, making it impossible to sell. �I'd like to be selling, but we can't even get in there,� said one trader at a Western investment bank.

But the collapse extended to �old Japan� stocks in basic industries like steel and mining. Mining stocks tumbled 10.7 per cent, while the steel sector slid 8.8 per cent, despite signs of an economic recovery that would have ordinarily supported stocks in these sectors.

The yen fluctuated wildly amid rumours of intervention to stabilise the currency by the Bank of Japan, strengthening to �103.92 against the dollar by mid-day. Analysts said the yen's appreciation came in response to concerns about further declines in US stock markets and the omission of any mention of the yen in the G7 communiqu� over the weekend.

Japanese officials denied any change in foreign exchange policy. However, analysts expect the central bank would step in to prevent strengthening beyond the psychological benchmark of �100 against the dollar.

Kiichi Miyazawa, finance minister, sought to downplay concerns about a market collapse. �The strength of the Japanese economic recovery is quite clear, so I'm not particularly worried,� he said.

Some analysts echoed this upbeat sentiment, arguing that the fall represented a healthy correction in overvalued technology stocks. �I haven't changed my mid-term outlook on the market. I believe it will continue to rally because the fundamentals are strong,� said Kathy Matsui, strategist at Goldman Sachs. �Japan is a relatively safe place to be.�

The petroleum price continues to grow due to buying up of large lots


The petroleum prices continues to grow for two days. As ITAR TASS informs, during trade session on Thursday on the London International petroleum Exchange the price of Brent barrel increased by 74 cents and reached 23.05 dollars.

The London experts consider that the Russian petroleum price in the Mediterranean ports already today will be lifted to 21 dollars / barrel.

The rise in prices occurs due to too slow increase of the OPEC petroleum export and OPEC's heads statements concerning reducing production, if the Brent price falls below 22 dollars.

The rise in prices is also caused by increase in demand from the large consumers, which are filling the stocks. The feverish purchases acts as the certain signal for the brokers that prices can increase again.

Iran has started to inform U.N.O. about tankers, which take petroleum in the Iraq's ports violating the U.N.O. sanctions. In a result in the Persian Gulf only in the current week more than 10 tankers were stopped for checking.

April 17 � FIREMAN'S DAY

In the event of a fire, call 01?

Vladislav YURITSYN

Soon in The Energy of Kazakhstan magazine

Late at night there is a call at the duty department of the Almaty Fire Technical School (AFTS), now the Almaty Higher Technical College: � Hello! Are you calling to report a fire?1 � � �Yes.� � �Please, write this down: a fire No. 2, street�.., house��, floor�. Got that?� � �Yes.� Then they hung up. Ten minutes later, a second call: �Fire?!� � �Yes.� � �Did you register my call? No. 2, street�, house�, floor�� � �Yes. I did.� Again, after ten more minutes another call: �Fire?!� � �I have all the details. How many times are you going to call?!� � �What did you write down?! Where are the fire engines?!! We are burning!!!� The reason for the delay was that one of the recruits was on duty in the College.

On April 17, 1918 V.I. Ulyanov, or rather Lenin, signed a decree �On the organisation of state measures to struggle against fire.� Firemen in Kazakhstan still consider April 17 to be their professional holiday.

May 20, 1989 was the most tragic day in post-war history for the Kazakhstani fire guards. That day 6 cisterns each containing 60 tons of inflammable liquefied gas caught fire on the branch lines of the railway station Alma-Ata 2. While the fire weas being put out, one of the cisterns blew up. Nine firemen died (some on site, others in hospitals). Many firemen had serious burns. Of the fire sentry SMFD-52 which arrived first to the scene only the driver who was sitting in a car at that moment escaped injury. Despite their comrades deaths, the rest did not give up. Reserves arrived, firemen climbed onto the cisterns and cooled them with water from above to avoid new explosions. Everyone knew that they might be the next, but professional reflexes were able to cope with the death instinct. Thanks to this the remaining 5 cisterns did not explode and the city was saved from a terrible catastrophe. The surnames of those who died fighting the fire, for the sake of thousands of Almaty citizens, whose lives and property firemen saved, and who lived and still live in this region, will always be remembered: Colonel F.A. Sharipov, Major K. Akkulov, Captains I.F. Safargaliev and V.V. Nikulenko, First Lieutenant I.A. Abdranov, Sergeants R.A. Kasymov and M.I. Malikov, junior Sergeants S.K. Alimtaev and E. K. Iskakov.

Those who died in the fire were awarded with Red Star orders (posthumously), and their families granted flats, whilst the firemen with burns were awarded with the For Personal Courage order, and the rest For Bravery at a Fire medals, valuable presents, premiums and diplomas.

Today however after constant deceit at every level, not a single fireman believes that their families would receive anything if they died. Furthermore, the pension for disabled people is no longer enough to live on. What good is a disabled pension, if a healthy grown-up can subsist on his salary alone?! Before salaries of volunteers in the fire guard were enough to maintain themselves and their families. Today even officers are short of money.

When the market economy (or rather its Kazakhstan equivalent) came, moral standards in the fire services were shaken. Now they are just falling. An old fireman (old by the fire guard's standards) recounted how they once had extinguished a fire in a flat right at the beginning of Perestroyka. The owners of the flat were out and they had to break down the door. When they were running in, everybody noticed a 3-rouble note (worth 15 loaves of white bread at that time) lying on the floor in the centre of the hall. After they had put out the fire and were heading to the entrance, firemen could no longer find the banknote. �Fall in!� the sentry chief ordered. When all firemen fell in in the hall, he asked: �Does everyone understand what I want to know?� � �Comrade First Lieutenant, there were 3 roubles, the note blown under the sideboard,� one of the firemen answered.

Today looting at fires is not extraordinary, especially if it is a fire in the offices of a company or firm ( they remain ashamed of stealing from common people : inertia of the past). The situation in the fire inspectorate is even worse. [Unlike a police investigator discharging a criminal in exchange for a bribe], starting conditions of the fire inspector are �better�. He can make the same legal demands as a businessman, based on the fire safety GOST. People always find a compromise where both parties have mutual financial interest. Once SFI inspectors were called �killers�, as their demands caused companies to fold. A range of internal �purges� dislodged the greediest ones, [as under conditions of our market model the motto �Everything and right now� is inadequate to the situation].

According to the saying, �poverty is not a vice, wealth � moreover, but destitution is a vice.� Thrown into destitution, Kazakhstani firemen can only do harm , by their nature. It is not surprising that they abuse their position, but yet they are still fighting fires, i.e. the institution still performs its initial functions as far as it can. At present firemen still arrive faster than an ambulance and police do after being called. This paradox can be put down entirely to tradition. But those people who are the carriers of tradition, are fast retiring, emigrating, and being discharged . They have no successors, or more precisely, there are no equal successors. Firemen say that, before, they were �made to work� and were fed, now they are only �made to work�.

Under modern conditions the ideal fireman is a dedicated bachelor, an ascetic (only in this case his salary will be enough to support him), with a high moral standing, indifferent to money, industrious, disciplined, a professional, who treats death as a Japanese Samurai, a sportsman, a teetotaller, a non-smoker ( if he is to work to the end of the shortest contract of 25 years). Moreover, he has to be a careful owner, who treats his uniform just as he would his best suit. He should preferably be able to fly, with the Almaty garrison's equipment only being able to reach the ninth floor. What would happen otherwise if there were a fire on the twelfth floor? (That said there is not a single fire plane in the country , and the only helicopter used for extinguishing forest fires in eastern Kazakhstan, is there not through the state's efforts, but rather in spite of them.)

After the USSR collapsed, there was a special secondary fire school in Kazakhstan � the AFTS (Almaty Fire Technical School). It was established in 1973 and prior to the foundation of a fire school in Uzbekistan it was the only one in Central Asia.

Today Kazakhstani firemen have no own college. Officers are being taught at the Fire Faculty of the Kokchetau Technical Institute, the Extraordinary Situations Agency. Before 1995 it was an eleven-months Fire College for skill conversion, later � a fire branch of the AHTC. Despite the college was titled with the new name, it had not time to gain a corresponding quality. Nothing changed thanks to a new board with the note �college� hanging on its building as well. This tree has no roots. Material resources are very weak. Real teachers-firemen (with fire education) can be counted with fingers of two hands (not all fingers will do). The college has no traditions, and considering the first graduates-officers, it will have no.

You can read the full variant of the article in The Energy of Kazakhstan magazine #2, 2000, which will come out soon.

1 The AHTC was called �Fire� by habit, and students went to extinguish fires.

2 The Special Militarised Fire Division # 5

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