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Announcement:

Moody's: Tenge devaluation will benefit exporters but pressure domestically-focused companies

12 Mar 2014

London, 12 March 2014 -- The recent devaluation of the Kazakhstani tenge will benefit the country's exporters in the short term, but place pressure on its domestically-focussed and import-oriented companies, says Moody's Investors Service in a Special Comment report published today.

Moody's report, entitled "Kazakhstani Corporates: Tenge Devaluation: Exporters Will Gain, but Domestic-Focused Players Will Face Pressure", is available on www.moodys.com.

On 11 February 2014, the National Bank of Kazakhstan devalued the tenge by approximately 19% to a new level of 185 KZT/USD. This decision was triggered by pressure on the tenge from capital outflows, the weakening of the Russian rouble and loss of external competitiveness.

"A weaker tenge could result in a margin rise and lower leverage for mining and hydrocarbon exporters in the short-term," says Julia Pribytkova, a Moody's Vice President-Senior Analyst and co-author of the report. "However, companies like rail operators and power providers that rely on domestic revenues will find themselves pressured to varying degrees. The hardest hit, however, will be import-oriented businesses such as food and non-food wholesalers and retailers," continues Ms. Pribytkova.

In its report, Moody's projects that the 19% devaluation of the tenge against the US dollar will be beneficial to Kazakhstani exporters in the short term. However, inflationary pressures on input costs and increases in wages are likely to erode the gains associated with the reduction in their costs bases relative to their US dollar revenues over time. Kazakhstan's economy is in better shape now than it was in the run up to the last devaluation in 2009, the government has more means at its disposal to potentially support companies that are directly adversely affected.

Moody's also notes, that uncertainty regarding the situation between Russia (Baa1 stable), which is Kazakhstan's partner in the Customs Union, and Ukraine (Caa2 negative), as well as Russia's weak economic outlook could potentially have a negative spill over effect on Kazakhstan's economy and exert pressure on its currency. However, the potential magnitude and scope of any negative effect is difficult to assess at this point, given the fluid nature of the situation regarding Russia and Ukraine.

Subscribers can access this report via this link: https://www.moodys.com/research/Kazakhstani-Corporates-Tenge-Devaluation-Exporters-Will-Gain-but-Domestic-Focused--PBC_165634

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

Sergei Grishunin
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
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David Staples
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
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Moody's: Tenge devaluation will benefit exporters but pressure domestically-focused companies
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