Tariffs for natural gas, electricity and logistic services must be increased to fair market levels in the next 3-5 years, according to Ernat Berdikulov, executing director of the National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna and the person responsible for developing strategy and asset management. He made his statement on October 17 during a meeting of the fund’s public council, where he presented a new strategy for 2023-2032.
According to Berdikulov, Samruk-Kazyna is interested in increasing the value of its assets. In order to achieve this goal, it is going to improve its financial performance and update the fund from a technological point of view. The official noted that Samruk-Kazyna believes that tariff increases might be one of the incentives for these processes.
“Responsible and reasonable tariff setting is a very important aspect of our business. The fund is going to turn itself into an investor during the next seven years. This move will require not only the readiness of the fund but the entire economy of Kazakhstan as well. High level of depreciation of fixed assets and low investment attractiveness of some companies won’t help increase marginality or get new investments. That’s why we need higher tariffs in the gas industry, electricity sector and logistics,” he said.
Tariff increases will allow the fund to cut fixed asset depreciation and attract new investments both public and private, Berdikulov highlighted.
“The state-owned companies must be co-investors for the private sector when these new projects are implemented,” he said.
The official also mentioned that Samruk-Kazyna is going to be a co-investor for projects which might require a large amount of investment or when a foreign investor is needed.
“First of all, sometimes businesses don’t have enough financial resources to execute such big projects. In this case, they can rely on the fund and its subsidiaries. Secondly, even if a business has enough resources, it may want to share risks with other players. In some new industries, such business risks might be high. Moreover, Samruk-Kazyna and its subsidiaries would be a good partner for any foreign investor, so if a business wants to attract foreign partners, we can help,” he said.
Since Samruk-Kazyna is intended to facilitate fair competition in the country, it will sell its non-strategic assets to the private sector. Also, the fund is going to develop its critical infrastructure and resource portfolio.