Kazakhstan emerges as investment target

CENTRAL Asia's resource-rich country of Kazakhstan is becoming a target for institutional investors looking to channel funds into emerging markets, according to giant fund manager Templeton.

Mark Mobius, president of Templeton's Emerging Markets Fund and the Developing Market Trust said the country was 'showing signs that it will become one of the region's leading economic dynamos in the 21st century'.

Despite growing pains, Kazakhstan's leadership was committed to an economic liberalisation campaign that began two years ago, said Dr Mobius.

'The country's prospects are excellent,' he said, after a four-day tour of the country.

Kazakhstan has become the second most popular destination after Russia among the former states of the Soviet Union for foreign investment.