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Azerbaijan Considers Possible Free Float For National Currency

Azerbaijan is considering moving to a floating exchange rate for its national currency, the manat.

The chairman of the oil-rich former Soviet republic's central bank, Elman Rustamov, said at a parliamentary session on October 13 that Azerbaijani officials are currently discussing the possibility with international experts.

"The manat's rate is being determined by the global price of oil, as well as budgetary and currency policies of partner nations," Rustamov said.

He added the central bank's foreign reserves stand at $7 billion, which is less than half the amount they were last year.

Kazakhstan, another former Soviet republic that relies on oil exports for revenue, introduced a floating exchange rate for its currency, the tenge, on August 20.

Since then, the tenge has lost some 30 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar, sending ripples through Central Asia, a region already struggling with low global energy prices and economic slowdowns in China and Russia.

Based on reporting by and