The Kazakh tenge registered at KZT386.16 to the dollar on August 15, appreciating from the previous day’s KZT387.49, which was the lowest level the tenge has ever registered against the dollar, according to figures from the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK).
Prior to a downward slide which began on July 25, the tenge was fluctuating at around KZT380-KZT384 to the dollar throughout most of June and July. It appears that the trajectory of the tenge mostly tracked the Russian ruble, though the ruble does not seem to have reverted from its upward trend aside from briefly slightly appreciating on August 13. It is also likely that as the tenge started weakening, Kazakh citizens began panicky buying of dollars at exchange offices, further spurring its fall.
Last week, Kazakh authorities announced a regulation limiting the working hours of exchange offices and setting a requirement on exchange bureaux to keep records of their clients based on their internal Kazakh ID passports. The measures were likely set in order to discourage people from conducting currency exchange operations to reduce downward pressure on the tenge due to any spread of general panic.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the central bank on July 15 to study ways to improve public confidence in the country’s exchange rate policy with help from international bodies.
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