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Kazakh leader admitted to German hospital - newspaper (UPDATE)

Kazakhstan Materials 19 July 2011 18:14
A German newspaper reported on Tuesday that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had been admitted to a hospital in the city of Hamburg, lifting the cost of protecting against exposure to Kazakh assets.
Kazakh leader admitted to German hospital - newspaper (UPDATE)

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A German newspaper reported on Tuesday that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had been admitted to a hospital in the city of Hamburg, lifting the cost of protecting against exposure to Kazakh assets.

Mass-circulation Bild said, without naming its source, that the 71-year-old Kazakh leader had admitted himself to the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. The report said the for his admission to hospital was unknown.

"There is a celebrity patient being closely guarded in the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf -- and according to information obtained by Bild it is Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who is being secretly treated here.

"It is not known what he is suffering from," Bild said.

The report sent the cost of insuring exposure to Kazakh assets higher, with five-year credit default swaps up four basis points to 169 bps, according to data from Markit, bucking the overall market trend.

"Kazakhstan is so strategic to Russia, the U.S. and China, in terms of energy supply, transit ... that I have some confidence that we would see a pretty smooth transition of power to someone in the inner circle," said RBS analyst Timothy Ash in a note to clients.

A spokesman for the Hamburg hospital would not comment and denied there was any extra security at the hospital, Reuters reported.

"We have no special security measures in place," he said. "But our policy is never to talk about patients so I can neither confirm nor deny this."

Officials at the Kazakh embassy in Berlin were not available for comment and a spokesman for the German foreign ministry said he was unable to confirm the Bild report.

Nazarbayev, who has ruled the oil-rich central Asian republic for more than 20 years, is on vacation, according to a government spokeswoman in Astana who said she had no information on his current whereabouts or the planned date of his return.

"I cannot confirm the report," said a spokeswoman at the Kazakh embassy in Berlin. "He's on vacation and he could be anywhere in the world."

The presidential website, www.akorda.kz, said on July 11 that Nazarvayev was on "a short holiday". It gave no further details.

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