China International Trust & Investment Corp (Citic) is expected to retain majority control of Nations Energy's assets in Kazakhstan that it is buying after agreeing to sell a stake to the Kazakh government to avoid political opposition, sources said. A deal was expected to be announced next week after top Kazakh officials struck an agreement with their Chinese counterparts during an official visit to Beijing last week, a source said. The transaction was originally expected to be closed yesterday. The stake to be sold to the Kazakh government is expected to be significantly greater than the 33 per cent holding in PetroKazakhstan that PetroChina's parent firm, China National Petroleum Corp, was forced to sell to win Kazakh approval. Citic Resources Holdings, Citic's resources listed vehicle, has an option to buy from its parent firm 94.6 per cent of Karazhanbasmunai, the crown jewel of Canada's Nations Energy after the deal is completed. Spokesmen for Citic and Citic Resources would not comment. Citic clinched a deal in October to buy Nations Energy's Kazakhstan assets for US$1.9 billion but it hit a snag when Energy and Natural Resources Minister Baktykozha Izmukhambetov opposed the sale before a committee of the Kazakh parliament. The deal and CNPC's acquisition of PetroKazakhstan raised concerns that too much domestic oil and gas assets in western Kazakhstan would fall into Chinese control. The Kazakh government has the right to pre-empt foreign firms from buying domestic oil and gas assets. Nations Energy holds the exclusive rights until 2020 to develop Kazakhstan's Karazhanbas oil and gas field, which has more than 340 million barrels of proven oil reserves and a daily output of more than 50,000 barrels.