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Banking

Kazakhstan: Marchenko maintains a sunnier economic outlook

CB governor defends one-off devaluation; Hails fight against inflation

Grigory Marchenko, National Bank of Kazakhstan

"In 1999 reserves were just $1.1 billion, now they are $41.1 billion. The level of reserves means we are in a different league to the likes of Hungary, Latvia and Romania"

Grigory Marchenko, National Bank of Kazakhstan

After an incident-packed few months, Grigory Marchenko, governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, believes that there will be more clarity about the direction of the Kazakh economy by the end of July. Marchenko, who was reappointed as head of the central bank at the end of January, remains confident that the central Asian republic will weather the economic storm, which has seen a devaluation of the tenge, a slackening of economic growth and debt problems at two of the country’s leading banks.

After years of double-digit growth, the Kazakh economy is expected to register a sharp slowdown in 2009. However, Marchenko believes that if there is continued stability in the prices of a number of hard and soft commodities, the country could still avoid entering into a full-blown recession.

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