EBRD to invest $45 million in Kazakh agricultural company
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 29 / Trend E. Kosolapova/
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will invest $45 million in a primary Kazakh agricultural company KazExportAstyk (KEA), the Bank reported.
"The EBRD's investment will consist of the purchase of newly-issued share capital worth $45 million. The proceeds of the investment will allow KEA to improve its balance sheet structure and position it better for future strategic growth," the Bank said.
According to the Bank, investments in grain producer should pave the way for production boost in the current period of global wheat prices climb.
"Food producers in the EBRD region, particularly in Kazakhstan, have great potential, but they need more options to access finance. To increase productivity, Kazakhstan needs more investment. This can mostly come from the private sector, and the private sector is precisely what the EBRD is supporting with this and other deals," the EBRD President Thomas Mirow said.
In 2009 the EBRD provided KEA with $35 million loan.
"We are proud of our partnership with the EBRD, which has already helped KazExportAstyk to diversify its production and become one of the biggest producers of oil crops in the CIS region. The EBRD equity investment into the holding heralds a new stage of our cooperation. We consider the EBRD's participation in our company's share capital as a token of trust not only in KEA but in Kazakh agriculture in general," Chairman of the Board of KEA Ruslan Moldabekov said.
KazExportAstyk is a large agro-industrial holding, the third largest grain producer and the biggest oil seed producer in the Central Asian republic. It is fully integrated with its own grain terminals, flour mills and long-term land usage agreements. Among the grain enterprises in the country, KEA has complied with international audit standards for the longest period.
Since the beginning of its operations in Kazakhstan, the EBRD has invested around €4 billion in over 140 projects in various sectors of the Kazakh economy, mobilizing additional investments in excess of €6 billion, with about 60 per cent of the projects invested into the development of the country's private sector.