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Kazakh President Orders Raid On Oil Fund To Support Growth

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has ordered the government and central bank to allot 1 trillion tenges ($5.4 billion) from the National Fund to support economic growth after the national currency, the tenge, was devalued by 19 percent earlier this week.

The National Fund collects windfall oil-export revenues.

At a cabinet session on February 14, Nazarbaev also urged the government not to allow price hikes and ordered a 10 percent increase in the salaries of employees of state companies.

Nazarbaev warned the cabinet that it might be replaced unless it "turns Kazakhstan into a paradise for investors."

The tenge's devaluation -- announced on February 11 -- sparked nationwide anxiety.

Dozens of protesters marched in Kazakhstan’s business capital, Almaty, on February 12-13, demanding "proper explanations" for the devaluation and the resignation of National Bank Chairman Qairat Kelimbetov.

Based on reporting by Kazinform and Reuters