Finance In Brief

As of February 18 stock market capitalization for PIS of Kazakhstan fell $11.19 within a week down to $2,217.6 mln

/IRBIS, Feb 21/

On February 18 stock market capitalization for corporate securities of Kazakhstan (A+B+N excluding SBS) equaled 2,217.6 mln U.S. dollars.

Capitalization decreased by $11.19 th. during the week, which was caused by:

� 0.35% decrease in value of OJSC �Astana-finance� common inscribed shares;

� 42.9% decrease in price of OJSC �Mangistaumunaigas� preferred shares;

� a removal of OJSC �Embamunaigas� shares from the trade lists.

Now 89 instruments of 68 companies and 4 state block of shares can be traded on the floor of KASE.

Weekly volume of transactions in PIS at KASE � $472.4 th.

/IRBIS, Feb 21/

During the 8th week (February 14 - 18) of this year total turnover of private issue securities (PIS) trade sector of Kazakhstan stock exchange (KASE) reached $472.4 th., including, $7.6 th. for two deals in regular trade mode (trades on the secondary market) and $464.8 th. for six deals of primary auction additional placement of OJSC �Komirbank� coupon bonds (Ekibastuz, KZ2CCAEQCA00, KASE official list of securities, category �A�, trade code KOMBb).

In terms of securities the volume reached 47,200 shares (1,200 shares and 46,000 bonds of KOMBb).

During the previous week only three deals were made for a total of $92.3 th. (92,000 shares).

Besides KOMBb, deals were made in two other instruments:

� common inscribed shares of OJSC �Astana-finance� (ASFI, official list of securities, category �B�);

� preferred shares of OJSC �Mangistaumunaigas� (MMGZp, official list of securities, category �B�).

It is interesting to note that only trade deals were made during the week: transactions with ASFI and MMGZp were the results of the trades made by uninterrupted counterauction mode. There were no so-called direct deals made by the brokers.

weekly volume of deals in foreign currencies at KASE � equivalent of $27,640 mln

/IRBIS, Feb 21/

In U.S. dollars within the eighth calendar week of the year 2000 (February 14 - 20) at Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) 321 transactions totaling $27.600 mln were made, including 317 deals ($25.600 mln) in main and additional sessions on TOD terms and 4 deals ($2.000 mln) on TOM terms. Average volume of the trading day of KASE in U.S. dollars equaled $5.520 mln.

This week tenge devaluation rate against the dollar, calculated at weighted average rate of the Exchange (only the morning session is taken into account), is estimated by a trend of 3.4% APR.

In the previous week 440 deals totaling $31.035 mln were made, including 429 deals ($28.735 mln) on TOD terms, 9 deals ($1.300 mln) on TOM terms, and 2 deals ($1.000 mln) on SPOT terms. Average volume of the trading day of KASE in U.S. dollars equaled $6.207 mln. During this period weighted average Exchange rate of the dollar was increasing at an average of 16.6% APR.

Devaluation of tenge towards U.S. dollar, calculated at weighted average rate of the Exchange�s main session as of February 18, in the mid term (last 30 days) equaled 3.1% APR, in long term trend (from the beginning of the year) � 9.2% APR.

On February only 2 deals were made in euro 14 for a total of 40 th. units of the currency on TOD terms. Previous successful trades were held on December 27 of last year. Based on the data of these sessions, during the week tenge revalued against euro at an average of 22.3% APR.

No deals were made in Deutsche mark.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan for February 19 - 22: 1USD/KZT = 139.95, 1DEM/KZT = 71.40, 1RUR/KZT = 4.83, 1EUR/KZT = 139.65

/IRBIS, Feb 21/

For February 19 - 22, 2000 the National Bank of Kazakhstan has established the following exchange rates for accounting, customs and tax purposes: for 1 USD 139.95 (+0.10) tenge; for 1 DEM 71.10 (-0.18) tenge; for 1 RUR 4.83 (+0.01) tenge; for 1 EURO 139.65 (-0.35) tenge.

Total of 33 currencies are in the list.

In Exchange trades in dollars a balance between demand and supply was observed with strong opening of the market

/IRBIS, Feb 21/

Today at Kazakhstan stock exchange (KASE) the morning trades on TOD payment terms were held in Deutsche mark and Euro only. In the morning session in U.S. dollars trades were held on TOM terms (next day delivery) due to the holiday in the USA. 16 banks participated in the trades.

Today the trades in US dollars opened at 140.15 tenge per unit. Total of 93 deals were made. Weighted average dollar exchange rate equaled to 140.16 (+0.26 relatively to USD_TOD on Friday) tenge per unit. Volume of the session � $9.990 mln (+$6.375 mln). Exchange rate fluctuation during the trade �0.01%. The trades were closed at 140.14/16 tenge per dollar.

Funds, received from the repayment of SS at the end of last week, are still influencing the market. Moreover, there are psychological factors: growth in the exchange rate of the dollar all Friday long and 10 point increase of official rate of the American currency today.

The market opened very strong. However, no firming of the dollar was observed during the trades. Balance of demand and supply has settled down on the trade floor immediately, which has been supported mainly by two participants: one was selling dollars (controlling 55% of the market), and another one � buying them (70% of the market). The American currency was traded within a very narrow 140.14 - 140.16 price interval. There were no explicit trends in the dynamics of the exchange rate. It should be notes though, that traders got active in last five minutes of the trade, when they understood that the market conjuncture would not change.

One hour after closing of the morning session on interbank market of Kazakhstan dollar was quoted at 140.10/15 tenge per unit. Two hours later � 140.10/16.

Deutsche mark, morning session, TOD: no deals. Closing quotations � 70.66/80 tenge for mark.

Euro, morning session, TOD: no deals. Closing quotations � 138.00/40 tenge for euro.

Everybody Needs Stable Oil Prices

ALMATY, Feb 17


Recently against the background of very high oil prices there were many prognoses and speculations regarding the further development of the situation in this field.

The average annual price in 200 will be U.S.$ 15 to 16 per barrel, according to OPEC, and US$ 18, according to IMF (Dengi, 19.01.2000).

For the time being prices of �black gold� remains high (according to RosBusinessConsulting, on February 17, the price of Brent crude oil at IPE fell to US$ 26.67 per barrel).

Before, when the price was higher than US$ 28 per barrel and even came to US$ 30.05 for a long time, the OPEC Observing Council published the information that most OPEC members had voted for prolongation of the present restrictions for oil production at least till the end of 2000 (Izvestia, 18.01.2000).

According to Dengi magazine, high prices of mineral raw materials will lead to the reduced consumption by developed countries. So, European power electric stations may shift from mazut to coal or Russian natural gas. They may begin to produce more economical cars and develop power-economizing technologies. This may finally result in a fall of oil prices, as it happened in 1998.

On March 27, 2000 the next OPEC meeting to be held. The situation in the world oil market will depend on what decision they take. Dengi supposes that OPEC countries will possibly increase oil supplies, hence, prices will fall below US$ 20 per barrel.

The OPEC divided into countries supporting the same production volumes, and their opponents. So, Iran, Indonesia and Algeria vote for prolongation of the reduced production to support high prices. Washington affects greatly the OPEC�s decision. President Clinton appealed to OPEC countries proposing to reduce prices. He warned that he will apply to national oil reserves, if necessary, Reuters announced on February 17. The point is that due to high prices of energy-carriers, the U.S. economy, including the agriculture and transport face serious problems.

At the same time, there is another point of view. In 2000 oil prices will be kept within US$ 21 to 25 per barrel, a spokesman of the Iranian National Oil Company said to THE GLOBE. In Reza Majedi�s opinion, the increase of oil production will not result in a significant reduction of prices. Prime Minister Tokaev speaking at one of the Kazakhstani TV channels, expressed his confidence that oil prices would be stable till the end of this year.

Christian Science Monitor states that, on one hand, high oil prices are not profitable to Washington, as due to them Moscow is able to fight in Chechnya, pay pensions and salaries and, hence, to strengthen its positions. The reduction of prices below US$ 20 per barrel (the U.S.A. may cause this), will become a serious problem for Russia, as the Russian budget 2000 is based on the price of US$ 22 per barrel, and deductions by FPC (Fuel Power Complex) come to 40% of the budget revenues.

On the other hand, this price policy will affect the Baku-Ceykhan oil pipeline lobbied by the White House. The interested parties have signed agreements on this project at the Istanbul Summit. But it is oil companies that are to decide this matter by the end 2000 finally. In autumn 1998 (and for the time being) the Clinton�s administration failed to convince oil companies of necessity to build this expensive pipeline. But taking into consideration present high prices of hydrocarbon raw resources, now they have more chances to do this.

Majedi said that if oil prices fell below US$ 20 per barrel, this would give up as a bad job the Baku-Ceykhan route, as well as would affect investments by U.S. oil companies to the Caspian region (only in Azerbaijan 20 international consortiums established, about US$ 10 to 12 billion invested). Hence, Washington will hardly use its influence to reduce prices; most probably, it will act just the opposite.

Bill Clinton�s announcement that every country is interested in stable prices, not too high but not too low, proved this point of view.

U.S. dollar market of Kazakhstan: day results

ALMATY, Feb 18 (�IRBIS�)

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 - 18:00
Weighted average rate 139.93 (+0.13) Not indicated 140.03
Volume of the session (mln) 3.525 (+725) 1.000   0.500 0
Demand price 139.97 139.98 139.99 140.15
Supply price 139.98 140.10
Number of participants 18 5 6 6
Indicative U.S. dollar quotations on interbank market in information system REUTERS at closing of KASE sessions (disregarding settlement dates)
Demand price 139.92 139.93     140.00
Supply price 139.99 140.03     140.10

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 lost 20 points in comparison with previous day closing on demand and 24 points on supply of the American currency.

Today currency market of the country revived again after a brief calm. Quite active trade in U.S. dollars on the morning (main) session of KASE continued on additional (day) and evening trades. Dealers were putting out quotations till the very closing of the market.

Distinctive feature of the day � growth in the exchange rate of the dollar. The market received the impulse on the morning session of KASE, where dollar was growing throughout the session. It had a psychological impact on the dealers, which made the market get active in the afternoon. The exchange rate of the dollar kept rising all day long. Based on interbank quotations, such tendency was being observed out of KASE as well.

In IRBIS analysts� opinion, repayment of SS disturbed the equilibrium of the market. On Thursday and Friday very big amount had to flow into correspondent accounts of the banks � KZT9,765.2 mln. And no securities were offered on Friday. Therefore, some banks preferred to transfer their free tenges into U.S. dollars. During three days these dollars will be working in deposits of the American banks.

Under the influence of this factor today the buyers of USD were more compliant than they were during last five days, which allowed the sellers to use the market conjuncture to increase the exchange rate of the dollar.

It means the firming of the dollar on Friday should not be considered a long term trend. It is more likely the exchange rate will continue to grow mechanically only on Monday, and then it will go backwards, and the market will return to its normal condition.

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