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Kazakhstan, Tajikistan See Sharp Currency Devaluation

Tajik somonis: getting weaker

Tajik somonis: getting weaker

ALMATY (RFE/RL) -- The Kazakh currency fell almost 20 percent against the dollar on February 4, but Deputy Finance Minister Ruslan Dalenov brushed off concerns, saying that the tenge would bounce back "in the near future," RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Dalenov encouraged citizens to buy dollars so that they would make money when the rate for the tenge rises again.

Economy Minister Bakhyt Sultanov said last month that currency devaluation was likely, but that it would be no more than 10 percent and "spread over a long period of time."

In Tajikistan, the national currency, the somoni, also weakened against the U.S. dollar, falling nearly 5 percent. One dollar now costs some 3.85 somoni, compared to 3.70 somoni two days ago.

Tajik National Bank Chairman Sharif Rahimzoda told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that the somoni's weakening against the dollar was initiated by the country's Central Bank. Rahimzoda said the plunge in the price of Tajikistan's major commodities -- aluminum and cotton -- has caused the current situation.

RFE/RL correspondents in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, report that currency traders did not have dollars for sale on February 3.