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Kazakh President Orders Raid On Oil Fund To Support Growth

Kazakhs Protest Currency Devaluation
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WATCH: Dozens of angry protesters marched to Kazakhstan's National Bank building on February 12 in Almaty following the devaluation of the national currency, the tenge. The protesters chanted, "Hands off our money," and demanded the resignation of the bank's chairman, Qairat Kelimbetov. Deputy Chairman Quat Qozhakhmetov met with the protesters and promised to try to prevent possible price hikes. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)

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

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