Kazakh KASE Index World’s Worst-Hit as Bank, Metal Stocks Drop

Aug 5. Bloomberg

By Namitha Jagadeesh

Kazakh KASE Index World’s Worst-Hit as Bank, Metal Stocks DropKazakh stocks tumbled the most worldwide, sending the benchmark index to the lowest level since September 2009, on concern the global economic recovery is faltering.

Kazakhstan’s KASE index of seven stocks sank 7 percent to 1,338.25 at 2 p.m. in London, the most since February 2009, making central Asia’s biggest oil producer the worst performer of 91 benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg worldwide.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corp, a metals producer, and Halyk Savings Bank, the second-largest lender by assets, both sank 12 percent, accounting for more than 50 percent of today’s losses in the KASE. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, a gauge of shares from 21 developing countries, sank the most in more than a year as speculation deepened that Europe’s debt crisis and weak U.S. economic data may lead to a global recession.

“Plummeting global risk appetite” was driving down the country’s stocks, Lars Christensen, chief emerging-market analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said in a phone interview today. “If you can find any stock exchange in the world today that is not going down, we’d be really lucky.”

Kazakhmys Plc, the country’s biggest copper producer, declined 9.9 percent as copper decreased 1.8 percent in London. Kazkommertsbank, an Almaty-based lender, dropped 5.7 percent.

The KASE has lost 13 percent in four days, sending the gauge down 30 percent from this year’s peak on Feb. 8. The measure tumbled 66 percent within five months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008 fueled a global credit crisis and the world slipped into recession.

The financial crisis led four Kazakh banks to default on their debts and BTA Bank, then the country’s largest lender, to be taken over by the state’s National Wellbeing Fund Samruk- Kazyna.