Kazakh tenge devaluation threatens Aktau airport

>>Currency devaluation makes US dollar debt expensive

//ALMATY, March 19 (The Conway Bulletin) – The impact of Kazakhstan’s 20% currency devaluation last month is beginning to filter through to business.

Kazakh senator Mikhail Bortnik said that unless JSC International Airport Aktau could restructure its dollar-denominated debt, it would go bankrupt (March 12).

JSC International Airport Aktau, which under a deal with Mangistau regional government is owned by Turkish company ATM until 2025, has re-built Aktau airport’s passenger terminal and runway over the last few years.

It is now Kazakhstan’s third busiest airport, behind Almaty and Astana, and hosts flights from Baku, Kiev, Moscow and central Europe.

But after February’s tenge devaluation the $47m debt that Mangistau regional government took on to re-build the airport from the state-run Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) has become 20% more expensive to service.

The problem for the DBK is that if it agrees to restructure the Aktau airport debt, it may have to restructure several other company debts too.


This story was first published on March 19 in issue 176 of the weekly Conway Bulletin newssheet. for more information on The Conway Bulletin, click here

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