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Kazakhstan: Marchenko retakes the helm at central bank

In a high-profile move, Grigory Marchenko has been appointed as chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) for the second time, replacing his successor, Anvar Saidenov.

Marchenko previously served as NBK chairman from October 1999 until 2004 and was widely viewed as having played a leading role in the transformation of the fortunes of the central Asian country’s banking sector. Under his watch, Kazakhstan went from a near-bankrupt state in the wake of the August 1998 Russian financial crisis to being one of the most stable and profitable in the entire central and eastern European region – an achievement that won him widespread acclaim and comparisons to Alan Greenspan.

The former US Federal Reserve chairman’s star has waned dramatically in the light of the US sub-prime mortgage fiasco but Marchenko’s reputation as a canny operator has been strengthened by his stewardship of Kazakhstan’s third-biggest financial institution, Halyk Bank, where he served as chairman from January 2005.

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