Basis of Preparation and Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of preparation

These consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) under the historical cost convention as modified by the initial recognition of financial instruments based on fair value.  The principal accounting policies applied in the preparation of these consolidated financial statements are set out below.  These consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with those IFRS standards and IFRIC interpretations issued and effective or issued and early adopted as at the time of preparing these statements, unless otherwise stated (refer to Note 4, New Accounting Pronouncements).

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires the use of certain critical accounting estimates.  It also requires management to exercise its judgement in the process of applying the Group’s accounting policies.  The areas involving a higher degree of judgement or complexity, or areas where assumptions and estimates are significant to the consolidated financial statements are disclosed in Note 3.  Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Foreign currency translation

(i) Functional and presentation currency

All amounts in these consolidated financial statements are presented in thousands of Kazakhstani Tenge (“Tenge”), unless otherwise stated.

Functional currency is the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity operates.  The functional currency of the Group entities is Tenge.

(ii) Transactions and balances

Foreign currency transactions are accounted for at the exchange rate prevailing at the date of the transaction established by National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  Gains and losses resulting from the settlement of such transactions and from the translation of monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency are recognised in the profit and loss for the year.

At 31 December 2012 the principal rate of exchange used for translating foreign currency balances was USD 1 = Tenge 150.74 (31 December 2011: USD 1 = Tenge 148.40). Exchange restrictions and currency controls exist relating to converting Tenge into other currencies.  At present, Tenge is not a freely convertible currency in most countries outside of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Consolidated financial statements

Subsidiaries are those companies and other entities (including special purpose entities) in which the Group, directly or indirectly, has an interest of more than one half of the voting rights or otherwise has power to govern the financial and operating policies so as to obtain benefits.  The existence and effect of potential voting rights that are presently exercisable or presently convertible are considered when assessing whether the Group controls another entity. Subsidiaries are consolidated from the date on which control is transferred to the Group (acquisition date) and are deconsolidated from the date that control ceases.

Intercompany transactions, balances and unrealised gains on transactions between group companies are eliminated; unrealised losses are also eliminated unless the cost cannot be recovered.  The Company and all of its subsidiaries use uniform accounting policies consistent with the Group’s policies.

Property, plant and equipment

(i) Recognition and subsequent measurement

Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation and provision for impairment.  Cost comprises construction cost or purchase price, including import duties and non-refundable taxes, and any directly attributable costs of bringing the asset to working condition for its intended use.  Any trade discounts and rebates are deducted in arriving at the construction cost or purchase price.

Costs of minor repairs and maintenance are expensed when incurred.  Cost of replacing major parts or components of property, plant and equipment items are capitalised and the replaced part is retired.  Construction in progress is carried at cost. Upon completion, assets are transferred to buildings and equipment at their carrying amount.  Construction in progress is not depreciated until the asset is available for use.

(ii) Depreciation

Land is not depreciated. Depreciation on other items of property, plant and equipment is calculated using the straight-line method to allocate their cost to their residual values over their estimated useful lives:

  Useful lives in years
Buildings 10 to 25
Switches and transmission devices 4 to 8
Other 4 to 8

The residual value of an asset is the estimated amount that the Group would currently obtain from disposal of the asset less the estimated costs of disposal, if the asset was already of the age and in the condition expected at the end of its useful life.  The residual value of an asset is nil if the Group expects to use the asset until the end of its physical life.  The assets’ residual values and useful lives are reviewed, and adjusted if appropriate, at each reporting date.  Gains and losses on disposals determined by comparing proceeds with carrying amount are recognised in the profit or loss for the year when the asset is retired.

(iii) Impairment

At each reporting date the management assesses whether there is any indication of impairment of property, plant and equipment.  If any such indication exists, the management estimates the recoverable amount, which is determined as the higher of an asset’s fair value less costs to sell and its value in use.  The carrying amount is reduced to the recoverable amount and the impairment loss is recognised in the profit or loss for the year.  An impairment loss recognised for an asset in prior years is reversed if there has been a change in the estimates used to determine the asset’s value in use or fair value less costs to sell. 

Intangible assets

The Group’s operating GSM license (GSM-900, GSM-1800 and 3G), as disclosed in Notes 1 and 8, are recorded at cost and are amortised on a straight-line basis over the estimated economic useful life of the license/right.

The economic useful life of the original GSM license and 3G license is estimated by management at 15 years. The useful life of the initial license term is in line with the management assessment of the development of communication technology. The economic useful life of the right for the radiofrequencies (GSM-1800) is estimated by management to expire in line with the original GSM license.

Other intangible assets are amortised over their estimated useful lives as follows:

  Useful lives in years
Computer software and software license rights 4 to 8
Other telecom licences 10
Other 8 to 10

If impaired, the carrying amount of intangible assets is written down to the higher of value in use or fair value less costs to sell.

When the Group acquires a group of assets that does not constitute a business, it allocates the cost of the group between the individual identifiable assets in the group based on their relative fair values at the date of acquisition.  The Group accounted for the acquisitions of AR-Telecom and KT-Telecom (Note 8) as the acquisitions of groups of intangible assets rather than businesses.  Accordingly, the costs of acquisitions of those entities were allocated to the costs of acquired assets.

Operating leases

Where the Group is a lessee in a lease which does not transfer substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership from the lessor to the Group, the total lease payments are charged to profit or loss on a straight-line basis over the period of the lease.

The lease term is the non-cancellable period for which the lessee has contracted to lease the asset together with any further terms for which the lessee has the option to continue to lease the asset, with or without further payment, when at the inception of the lease it is reasonably certain that the lessee will exercise the option.

Inventories

Inventories are recorded at the lower of cost and net realisable value.  Cost of inventory is determined on the weighted average basis.  Net realisable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less the cost of completion and selling expenses.

Trade and other receivables

Trade and other financial receivables are initially recognised at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, less provision for impairment.

A provision for impairment of receivables is established when there is objective evidence that the Group will not be able to collect all amounts due according to the original terms of receivables.  The amount of the provision is the difference between the asset’s carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows, discounted at the original effective interest rate.  The amount of the provision is recognised in the profit or loss for the year.  When a trade receivable is uncollectible, it is written off against the provision for impairment account for trade receivables.  Subsequent recoveries of amounts previously written off are credited to the profit or loss for the year.  The primary factor that the Group considers whether a receivable is impaired is its overdue status.

Prepaid taxes, deferred expenses and advances to suppliers are stated at actual amounts paid less provision for impairment.

Prepayments

Prepayments are carried at cost less any provision for impairment. A prepayment is classified as non-current when the goods or services relating to the prepayment are expected to be obtained after one year, or when the prepayment relates to an asset which will itself be classified as non-current upon initial recognition. Prepayments to acquire assets are transferred to the carrying amount of the asset once the Group has obtained control of the asset and it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the asset will flow to the Group. Other prepayments are written off to profit or loss when the goods or services relating to the prepayments are received. If there is an indication that the assets, goods or services relating to a prepayment will not be received, the carrying value of the prepayment is written down accordingly and a corresponding impairment loss is recognised in profit or loss for the year.

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents include cash in hand and deposits held at call with banks with original maturities of three months or less and are subject to insignificant risk of change in value.  Cash and cash equivalents are carried at amortised cost using the effective interest method.  Balances restricted from being exchanged or used to settle a liability for at least twelve months after the reporting date are included in other non-current assets.

Share capital

Ordinary shares are classified as equity. Incremental costs directly attributable to the issue of new shares are shown in equity as a deduction, net of tax, from the proceeds. Any excess of the fair value of consideration received over the par value of shares issued is recorded as share premium in equity.

Dividends

Dividends are recorded as a liability and deducted from equity in the period in which they are declared and approved.  Any dividends declared after the end of the reporting period and before the consolidated financial statements are authorised for issue are disclosed in the subsequent events note.

Value added tax

Value added tax (“VAT”) related to sales is payable to the government when goods are shipped or services are rendered. Input VAT is reclaimable against output VAT upon receipt of a tax invoice from a supplier.  The tax legislation permits the settlement of VAT on a net basis.  Accordingly, VAT related to sales and purchases unsettled at the reporting date is stated in the statements of financial position on a net basis.

Trade and other payables

Trade and other financial payables are accrued when the counterparty performed its obligations under the contract.  The Group recognises trade payables at fair value.  Subsequently, trade payables are carried at amortised cost using the effective interest method.

Provisions for liabilities and charges

Provisions for liabilities and charges are recognised when the Group has a present legal or constructive obligation as a result of past events, and it is probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation, and a reliable estimate of the amount can be made.  Where there are a number of similar obligations, the likelihood that an outflow will be required in settlement is determined by considering the class of obligations as a whole.  A provision is recognised even if the likelihood of an outflow with respect to any one item included in the same class of obligations may be small.

Asset retirement obligations

Estimated costs of dismantling and removing an item of property, plant and equipment (asset retirement obligations) are added to the cost of an item of property plant and equipment when incurred either when an item is acquired or as the item is used during a particular period for purposes other than to produce inventories during that period. Changes in the measurement of an existing asset retirement obligation that result from changes in the estimated timing or amount of the outflows, or from changes in the discount rate adjust the cost of the related asset in the current period.

Revenue recognition

Revenue is recorded on an accrual basis at the sales value, adjusted for discounts granted and VAT.  Revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable.

Revenue is categorised as follows: voice services, data services, value added services, and other revenues.

Voice service includes call out revenue, interconnect fees, roaming revenues charged to the Group’s subscribers for roaming in other wireless operators’ network, and revenues charged to other wireless operators for non-Group subscribers using the Group’s network.

Data services include revenues from GRPS, WAP services and other data services.

Value added services consists of SMS, MMS, inforservices and providing content of third parties, fax and voice mail services.

Other revenues include sales of handsets to distributors and subscribers, rental of transmission lines to other operators.

(i) Call out revenue

Call out revenue is recognised based on the actual airtime used by the subscribers.  Prepayments received for call out revenue are not recognised as revenue until the related service has been provided to the subscriber.  Revenue is recognised based on the actual traffic time elapsed, at the customer selected calling plan rates.

(ii) Interconnect revenues and costs

The Group charges interconnect per minute fees and fixed monthly payments to other local wireless and fixed line operators for calls originated outside and terminated within the Group’s network.  The Group recognises such revenues when the services are provided.  The Group is charged interconnect fees per minute and fixed monthly payments by other local wireless and fixed line operators for calls originated within the Group’s network and terminated outside of the network.  The Company recognises such costs when the services are provided.

(iii) Data revenue

The data service is recognised when a service is used by a subscriber based on actual data volume traffic.

(iv) Roaming revenues charged to the Group’s subscribers

Roaming revenue from the Group’s subscribers for roaming in other operators’ network is charged based on information provided by other operators to the Group.

(v) Roaming fees charged to other wireless operators

The Group charges roaming per minute fees to other wireless operators for non-Group subscribers utilising the Group’s network.  The Group recognises such revenues when the services are provided.

(vi) Value added services

Value added services mainly consists of content provided by third parties, different inforservices, fax and voice mail.  When invoicing the end-customer for third party content service, amounts collected on behalf of the principal are excluded from revenue.

(vii) Deferred revenue

Prepayments received for communication services are recorded as deferred revenue.  The Group recognises revenue when the related service has been provided to the subscriber.

Sales commission to dealers and distributors

The Company sells part of payment scratch cards, sim cards, and handsets using various distributors and dealers.  The Company pays a certain commission to distributors and dealers depending on the number of payment scratch cards, sim cards or handset sold.  The commission is recognised when the item is sold to the subscriber.

Payroll expenses and related contributions

Wages, salaries, contributions to pension funds, paid annual leave and sick leave, bonuses, and other benefits are accrued in the period in which the associated services are rendered by the employees of the Group.

Pension payments

The Group does not incur any expenses in relation to provision of pensions or other post-employment benefits to its employees.  In accordance with the legal requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Group withholds pension contributions from employee salaries and transfers them into state or private pension funds on behalf of its employees. Upon retirement of employees, all pension payments are administered by the pension funds directly.

Income taxes

Income taxes have been provided for in these consolidated financial statements in accordance with Kazakhstani legislation enacted or substantively enacted by the end of the reporting period.  The income tax charge comprises current tax and deferred tax and is recognised in profit or loss for the period except if it is recognised in other comprehensive income or directly in equity because it relates to transactions that are also recognised, in the same or a different period, in other comprehensive income or directly in equity.

Current tax is the amount expected to be paid to or recovered in respect of taxable profits or losses for the current and prior periods.  Taxable income or losses are based on estimates where the consolidated financial statements are authorised prior to the filling of the relevant tax return.  Taxes, other than on income, are recorded within operating expenses.

Deferred income tax is provided using the balance sheet liability method for temporary differences arising between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their carrying amounts for financial reporting purposes.  In accordance with the initial recognition exemption, deferred taxes are not recorded for temporary differences on initial recognition of an asset or a liability in a transaction other than a business combination if the transaction, when initially recorded, affects neither accounting nor taxable profit.  Deferred tax balances are measured at tax rates enacted or substantively enacted at the reporting date which are expected to apply to the period when the temporary differences will reverse or the tax loss carry forwards will be utilised.  Deferred tax assets for deductible temporary differences are recorded only to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profit, including deferred tax liabilities,  will be available against which the deductions can be utilised.  Deferred tax assets and liabilities are netted only within the individual companies of the Group.

Earnings per share

Preference shares are not redeemable and are considered to be participating shares. Earnings per share are determined by dividing the profit or loss attributable to owners of the Group by the weighted average number of participating shares outstanding during the reporting year.  The Group has no dilutive or potentially dilutive securities outstanding.

Segment reporting

Segments are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the Group’s chief operating decision maker. Segments whose revenue, result or assets are ten percent or more of all the segments are reported separately.  The chief operating decision-maker has been identified as the Company’s CEO. The Group determined the Group’s operations as a single reporting segment.

Financial instruments

(i) Key measurement terms

Depending on their classification financial instruments are carried at fair value or amortised cost as described below.

Fair value is the amount for which an asset could be exchanged, or a liability settled, between knowledgeable, willing parties in an arm’s length transaction. Fair value is the current bid price for financial assets and the current asking price for financial liabilities which are quoted in an active market. For assets and liabilities with offsetting market risks, the Group may use mid-market prices as a basis for establishing fair values for the offsetting risk positions and apply the bid or asking price to the net open position as appropriate.

Valuation techniques such as discounted cash flow models or models based on recent arm’s length transactions or consideration of financial data of the investees are used to measure at fair value certain financial instruments for which external market pricing information is not available. Valuation techniques may require assumptions not supported by observable market data.

Amortised cost is the amount at which the financial instrument was recognised at initial recognition less any principal repayments, plus accrued interest, and for financial assets less any write-down for incurred impairment losses. Accrued interest includes amortisation of transaction costs deferred at initial recognition and of any premium or discount to maturity amount using the effective interest method. Accrued interest income and accrued interest expense, including both accrued coupon and amortised discount or premium (including fees deferred at origination, if any), are not presented separately and are included in the carrying values of related items in the statement of financial position.

The effective interest method is a method of allocating interest income or interest expense over the relevant period, so as to achieve a constant periodic rate of interest (effective interest rate) on the carrying amount. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments or receipts (excluding future credit losses) through the expected life of the financial instrument or a shorter period, if appropriate, to the net carrying amount of the financial instrument. The effective interest rate discounts cash flows of variable interest instruments to the next interest repricing date, except for the premium or discount which reflects the credit spread over the floating rate specified in the instrument, or other variables that are not reset to market rates. Such premiums or discounts are amortised over the whole expected life of the instrument. The present value calculation includes all fees paid or received between parties to the contract that are an integral part of the effective interest rate.

(ii) Classification of financial assets

Financial assets of the Group include loans and receivables.  The management determines the classification of its financial assets at initial recognition.

Loans and receivables are non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market.  They are included in current assets, except for maturities greater than 12 months after the end of the reporting period.  These are classified as non-current assets.  The Group’s loans and receivables comprise restricted cash (Note 9), trade receivables (Note 10), due from related parties (Note 6) and cash and cash equivalents in the consolidated statements of financial position.

Derivative financial instruments, including foreign exchange contracts, interest rate futures, forward rate agreements, currency and interest rate swaps, currency and interest rate options are carried at their fair value. All derivative instruments are carried as assets when fair value is positive and as liabilities when fair value is negative. Changes in the fair value of derivative instruments are included in profit or loss for the year. The Group does not apply hedge accounting.

(iii) Classification of financial liabilities

Financial liabilities of the Group include financial liabilities carried at amortised cost.  The Group’s financial liabilities comprise trade and other financial payables (Note 12) and due to related parties (Note 6).

(iv) Initial recognition of financial instruments

Derivatives are initially recorded at fair value. All other financial assets and liabilities are initially recorded at fair value less transaction costs.  Fair value at initial recognition is best evidenced by the transaction price.  A gain or loss on initial recognition is only recorded if there is a difference between fair value and transaction price which can be evidenced by other observable current market transactions in the same instrument or by a valuation technique whose inputs include only data from observable markets.

(v) Derecognition of financial assets

The Group derecognises financial assets when (a) the assets are redeemed or the rights to cash flows from the assets otherwise expired or (b) the Group has transferred the rights to the cash flows from the financial assets or entered into a qualifying pass-through arrangement while (i) also transferring substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of the assets or (ii) neither transferring nor retaining substantially all risks and rewards of ownership but not retaining control.  Control is retained if the counterparty does not have the practical ability to sell the asset in its entirety to an unrelated third party without needing to impose additional restrictions on the sale.