Kazakhstan needs to sell state assets if oil prices continue
If world oil prices continue to fall through next year, Kazakhstan will sell off its stakes in certain companies to
bring in revenue for the state's coffers, Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev said.
Tokayev said government shares that would be sold are in oil and gas, railroad and telecommunications companies, but he did not name the specific firms.
"The economy of Kazakhstan will be affected (from low oil prices). I must be very frank with you," he said. "Oil is one of the major branches of the economy and major source of currency for the budget."
Kazakhstan has between 6 and 9 bn barrels of proven oil reserves.
Tokayev's warning followed a revised forecast from the U.S. Department of Energy showing the price of oil in 1999 is expected to fall to $ 11.73 a barrel.
The DOE is now forecasting a first quarter 1999 oil price of under $ 11 a barrel, which would then jump to $ 12.50 a barrel in the fourth quarter 1999.