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Saturday, April 18, 2009

China loans $10 billion to Kazakhstan

SHANGHAI (AFP) — China has extended 10 billion dollars in loans to oil and gas-rich Kazakhstan, according to the Kazakh state news agency, in the latest Chinese deal locking up access to foreign resources.

China National Petroleum Corp, or CNPC, said Friday it had signed an agreement to give financial support to the resource-rich central Asian country's national oil and gas company.

Under the agreement signed on Thursday, CNPC will loan up to five billion dollars to KazMunaiGas, the Chinese firm said in a statement.

CNPC and KazMunaiGas also signed a separate agreement to buy a stake together in Kazakhstan-based MangistauMunaiGas from Indonesia's Central Asia Petroleum Ltd.

Kazakhstan's state news agency Kazinform said the five-billion-dollar loan would help pay for the MangistauMunaiGas deal and the construction of the Beineu-Bozoi-Akbulak gas pipeline, which will serve southern Kazakhstan.

The Export-Import Bank of China, a policy lender, also signed an agreement to lend five billion dollars to the state-owned Development Bank of Kazakhstan, Kazinform reported.

From Calgary to Caracas, China has hammered out an unprecedented series of agreements over the past two months as plummeting energy and commodity prices have left once mighty producers over-extended and short on funds.

A 25-billion-dollar loan locked in 15 million tonnes of petrol a year for 20 years from Russia's Rosneft and Transneft. And for 400 million dollars, CNPC agreed to buy a Canadian firm's promising Libyan oil field.

China has also signed multi-billion-dollar deals to secure more oil from Venezuela.

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