Monochrome by Centil: Heatwave

It seems that the peak of summer heat in the region contributes to hot deals as well. Here we go with the top billion-dollar transactions.

This week, Bishkek became the conductor of the largest deal, signing a $2bn agreement for the construction of a HPP with a consortium of Chinese companies, including Power China Northwest Engineering Corporation Ltd, Green Gold Energy (GGE), and China Railway 20th Bureau Group Co Ltd. The station will consist of 4 HPPs totalling 1,160 MW and will be put into operation by 2030. The deal was agreed at the Issyk-Kul International Economic Forum, and became one of the largest investment deals in the country's history.

This forum was personally led by the Kyrgyz Republic PM, Akylbek Zhaparov. Addressing foreign participants, he called on them to cooperate with Kyrgyzstan. The event was also attended by the Deputy PM of Azerbaijan and prominent entrepreneurs from China, Russia, and Central Asia. Wrapping up, the Zhaparov expressed confidence that the forum would become a platform to exchange useful contacts, which would result in major investment projects.

Another hot newsline came from Tashkent, where the President approved a $1bn Industrial Development Fund, which will provide loans for industrial projects for the production of high-tech products, expansion of capacities, leasing and purchasing of buildings, and other purposes. It will make investments in the form of up to 49% equity participation, calculated based on the market value of shares. The Fund will also be authorized to attract funds from external sources into its capital.

Perhaps with a rush from the heat, Astana bragged about over $24bn in investments plans for this year. The list of approved investment projects includes 281 projects totaling a more modest $4.47bn. One of them will be the launch of a precision cast iron production plant, which will become the second plant in the world capable of producing high-tech casting without additional processing. The other will be an export-oriented production of sulfur additives with a capacity of up to 240,000 tonnes per year.

In fairness, Kazakhstan has a backup plan if those ambitions fail to meet the mark. The leadership is reassured by the CPCs launch of new capacities increasing oil transportation to 81.5 million tons per year within the Narrow Places Stitching Program. Also, the new oil quantity and quality measurement system will allow the Consortium to simultaneously load oil from three tanker vessels if necessary. This in turn will increase the shipment of crude oil via the Transcaspian Corridor and elsewhere.

Still, Astana's focus on the Western front is pervasive, as confirmed by it hosting a roundtable discussion with members of the American-Kazakh Business Council in Washington. The event was attended by the heads of major US companies, including Chevron, Boeing, Google, Brownstein, ITIC, Bechtel, as well as the Senior Vice President for the Middle East and Turkish Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, Khush Chokhi. 

Meanwhile, Tashkent took concrete actions to work with international giants. For example, in the Jizzakh region of the country intends to establish the production of Volkswagen and BYD electric vehicles. At this stage, the technical and economic basis of the project is being developed. Additionally, clothing production under the Zara and Columbia brands is planned to be established in the city of Yangiyul. Direct foreign investment in the two-phase project will amount to $25m with Turkish Medex Textile as operator.

At the same time, Unistream, the Russian payment system is getting some heat. At least five banks in Uzbekistan suspended their work with the company after sanctions were imposed by the US Treasury. Kyrgyzstan also joined the ban on the system. In response, Unistream plans to develop an infrastructure solution to seamlessly continue service operations. The details of this instrument and what it entails are currently not specified. Other Russian banks - Tinkoff, Loko-Bank, and Bank Solidarnost also ended up on the US sanctions list.

Upon last week's hot deal of $2.5bn, Turkmenistan stated that it is also interested in cooperating with South Korean companies in the shipbuilding industry. Respective discussions took place in Ashgabat between ex-President Berdimuhamedov Sr and the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. The National Leader of the Turkmen people announced that Korean companies would also have a leverage to participate in projects implemented in various sectors of Turkmenistan.

Herewith, good news for Dushanbe is the intention of the EDB to increase financing for the socio-economic sectors of Tajikistan. This was discussed between the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan and the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the EDB. The bank expressed readiness to increase financing for projects in strategic directions and assured the Minister that the Bank's investment portfolio in the Republic of Tajikistan can be increased to 3% of the total investment portfolio by the end of this year.

Maybe its the heat, but seems that Berdimukhamedov Sr is back in business. Here's a look into bizarroworld, for your entertainment.

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