Diamond credit card shines in crisis-hit Kazakhstan
ALMATY (Reuters Life!) - Sick of the global credit crisis? Get yourself a diamond credit card as consolation.
A bank in Kazakhstan, an oil-rich Caspian nation, has unveiled a new VISA card encrusted with a shiny 0.02 carat diamond and laced with an elaborate gold pattern.
"It's (designed) for a private club of VIP clients," said Dmitry Nikolin, executive director of Kazakhstan's mid-size Eurasian Bank which released the card on Tuesday.
The card will be issued for clients with an annual income of at least $300,000, targeting a thin layer of affluent consumers in a vast nation where the average monthly wage is about $500.
Nikolin told Reuters it was the first VISA card of this kind in the world and will be offered to clients beyond Kazakhstan.
Like other resource-rich former Soviet states, Kazakhstan developed fast on the back of booming commodity prices but a sharp downturn in oil prices this year and the end of credit expansion has snapped its double-digit economic growth.
Kazakhstan is now facing the challenge of growing social tensions as the crisis eats away at people's savings and widens the rich-poor divide in a nation where up to one quarter of the 16 million population lives in poverty, according to U.N. figures. (Reporting by Masha Gordeyeva; Writing by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Katie Nguyen)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
Trending On Reuters
Rajkumar Hirani makes his main protagonist an outsider, places him in a corrupt environment, and then lays the onus on him to change the system. As with most good things, the trick lies in knowing when to stop. Hirani and Aamir Khan don’t. They seem so intent on hammering the message home that it hampers the cause more than helping it, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar. Full Article