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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakhs Freeze Privatizations

AKMOLA, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan has suspended planned further privatizations in its energy sector but is committed to policies of stable economic growth, Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbayev said Tuesday.

Speaking at his first news briefing since his appointment last October, Balgimbayev said Kazakhstan planned to borrow about $260 million in foreign bonds in 1998 to cover the budget deficit.

"Kazakhstan has halted further privatization of the oil and gas sector, in order to determine what we want, where we are and what we still have," Balgimbayev said. "To cover the budget deficit, we will carry out a placement on external markets of 20 billion tenge ($261 million) of government bonds."

The announcements highlighted some foreign investors' fears of a slowdown in reform and in some of the trickier issues in the former Soviet republic's transition to a market economy that could result greater emphasis on macroeconomic stabilization.