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Kazakh Currency Continues To Plunge

Kazakhstan's national currency continues to drop, reaching new lows against the dollar as the country struggles with low global oil prices and the impact of Russia's economic crisis.

The tenge was losing more than 3 percent versus the dollar on November 6, after closing down 4 percent.

Officials in the ex-Soviet country said the currency's alarming slide was disrupting the preparation of the 2016-18 budget.

The Kazakh currency has lost about one-third of its value against the dollar since a floating exchange rate was introduced in August in response to falling oil prices and devaluations by Russia and China, Kazakhstan's two biggest trading partners.

The oil-rich country's central bank says it has spent $5 billion from its reserves and oil fund since the sales resumed, but the bank announced on November 5 it would protect foreign-currency reserves by cutting the amount of dollars it sells to support the tenge.

Earlier this week, President Nursultan Nazarbaev appointed Daniyar Akishev to replace Kairat Kelimbetov at the helm of the central bank and restore trust in the currency.

With reporting by
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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."