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Asian Bank Gives Kazakhstan $1 Billion Loan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a $1 billion loan for energy-rich Kazakhstan after its currency, the tenge, lost nearly one-quarter of its value against the dollar and spread panic in the region.

The ADB made the announcement on August 21 -- one day after Kazakhstan's currency, the tenge fell a record 23 percent following the country's switch from a costly currency corridor with the dollar to a free-floating exchange rate as the country battles to cope with low oil and gas prices.

The tenge is currently officially trading at 252.47 to the dollar, though on the streets it's rate is about 240 tenge to the dollar.

The tenge was officially valued at some 188 to the dollar on August 20.

The damage to the tenge has sent ripples through ex-Soviet Central Asia, a region depressed by low global energy prices and the poor Russian economy.

In neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, for which Kazakhstan is a key trade partner, dollars were being sold at 5-6 percent above their respective official rates on August 21.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and KazTAG