December 15, 2017 / 5:43 PM / a year ago

Kazakh sovereign fund head moved to agriculture ministry

ASTANA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev named Umirzak Shukeyev, previously chief executive of sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, as deputy prime minister and agriculture minister on Friday without immediately appointing a new head at the fund.

Shukeyev, 53, has run Samruk-Kazyna, the biggest asset owner in the oil-rich nation, since 2011, having earlier served in various government posts.

He leaves the fund as it is preparing to begin international flotations of some of its largest companies, such as Kazatomprom, the world’s No.1 uranium miner, and Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flagship carrier.

Nazarbayev’s office, which published brief announcements about Shekeyev’s appointment and the dismissal of his predecessor, Askar Myrzakhmetov, did not explain the reasons for the reshuffle.

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s biggest grain producer, has slashed its grain export outlook due to competition from Russia which harvested a record crop this year, Deputy Agriculture Minister Nurzhan Altayev told Reuters this week. (Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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