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Kazakhs Protest U.S.-Dollar Mortgages As Tenge Continues Plunge

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Dozens of people in Kazakhstan who are struggling with the spiraling costs of U.S.-dollar mortgages amid the plunging value of the tenge currency have demonstrated in the country's largest city, Almaty.

The protesters covered themselves with hooded cloaks as they marched on January 20 toward a business compound in Almaty that houses several commercial banks.

They said the cloaks symbolized the banks' attitude to the clients, who, they say, consider the clients as "a grey mass."

The demonstrators demanded that their loans be recalculated in the Kazakh currency -- the tenge -- based on the exchange rate in January 2015 -- 183 tenges per $1.

On January 19, the tenge fell to 380 per $1 during trading at the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, its lowest level since Kazakhstan moved to a floating exchange rate in August 2015.

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