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'Forbes' Launches Kazakhstan Edition

The cover of the first edition of "Forbes Kazakhstan" features Vagit Alekperov, the boss of Russian energy company Lukoil.
It wasn't long ago that Kazakh tycoons first began appearing on "Forbes" magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires. Now the self-described "capitalist tool" itself is venturing into Kazakhstan.

The first issue of "Forbes Kazakhstan" was launched this month in the oil-rich Central Asian country in partnership with the local United Media Group (UMG).

Beginning with a circulation of 10,000 copies, the Russian-language magazine will combine local business stories with content selected from the U.S. edition of Forbes, publishers say.

The first edition of "Forbes Kazakhstan," which hit newsstands last week, features Lukoil head Vagit Alekperov on the cover. Inside, the man who ranks 50th on Forbes' list of billionaires, gives his views on investment in Kazakhstan.

But the magazine looks out for the little guy as well, with an article on Kazakhs' salary expectations -- the magazine says just 10 percent expect their monthly wages to be over $2,000 in the foreseeable future.

UMG says the magazine hopes to cater to the country's growing business community, as well as ordinary Kazakhs.

With its vast energy resources, Kazakhstan has become arguably the most economically successful country in Central Asia.

The five Kazakhs who made the list of billionaires in 2011 were the president's second daughter Dinara, and her husband Timur Kulibaev.

Others include Vladimir Kim, the head and largest shareholder of Kazakh copper giant Kazakhmys; Alijan Ibragimov, a mining magnate; and Nurzhan Subkhanberdin, chairman of the country's largest bank, Kazkommertsbank.

-- Farangis Najibullah