KAZAKHSTAN: The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development has signed an agreement to provide Eastcomtrans with a financing package worth US$30m. This will be used to purchase up to 500 open or other wagons for general freight, and for balance sheet restructuring.

Eastcomtrans is one of the largest private freight companies in Kazakhstan, with a fleet of around 12 900 wagons. EBRD is discussing a second financing package worth a further US$25m.

Announcing the deal on December 10, EBRD said ‘balancing the role of the state and the market’ is one of its priorities in Kazakhstan, and the funding would ‘support a private company operating in a sector where the state still dominates’.

‘This financing was organised in a difficult economic setting with limited access to international funding available to the company’, said Thomas Maier, EBRD Managing Director, Infrastructure. ‘The loan demonstrates our commitment to Kazakhstan, where this year we are on track to have record investment totalling US$750m.’