ASTANA – National Bank of Kazakhstan Chairman Daniyar Akishev held a press conference Jan. 21 dedicated to the results of 2015, current issues of monetary policy and the bank’s activities.
“In 2015, the annual inflation was 13.6 percent,” he said. “Since last year food prices rose by 10.9 percent and prices for non-food products by 22.6 percent, while prices for paid services rose by 8.1 percent,” he said.
The chairman expanded on the exchange rate policy.
“This morning at today’s session of the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, the rate was 383.23 tenge per dollar, with the trade volume of $58 million. Since the previous press conference those risks which we talked about became a reality: the oil prices went below $30 per barrel (from the beginning of the year oil prices fell by 26 percent) and the weakening of the Russian ruble by more than 10 percent. At the present time, we are witnessing the formation of a course at a new level,” said Akishev.
He also talked about the reserves.
“At the end of 2015, gross international reserves of the National Bank amounted to $28.1 billion, while the international reserves of the country, including the National Fund assets, stood at $91.6 billion. For example, in late 2007 before the global financial crisis, the total reserves of the country were $38.6 billion. We believe that the accumulation of foreign exchange reserves of the National Fund and the National Bank have reached 50 percent of the country’s GDP, which allow having the necessary safety margin to ensure the preservation and stability of the financial system in the country under any scenario with oil prices,” he said.
The chairman also addressed the balance of payments.
“Previously, we published preliminary figures for the first nine months of 2015. Now we have given information on the final assessment of the balance of payments for nine months. No significant differences between the preliminary assessment and final data were observed. The volume of bank lending to the economy increased over the year by 4.7 percent,” he said.
Akishev also talked about deposits.
“During 2015 the volume of deposits in banks increased by 36.6 percent, mainly due to the re-evaluation of foreign currency deposits. As a result, the level of dollarisation of deposits has reached 69 percent, including accounts of individuals at 78.9 percent,” he said.
The chairman spoke on individual deposit rates.
“The Kazakhstan Deposit Insurance Fund decided to establish the maximum amount of interest rates on deposits of individuals in national currency from 10 percent to 14 percent on deposits in foreign currency.The rate was reduced from 3 to 2 percent since Feb. 1,” he said.
Akishev concluded his comments with remarks about the money market.
“On Dec. 24, the National Bank increased the volume of transactions on the money market. The National Bank’s share of the money market has reached 47 percent. In the banks’ balance sheets, liabilities to the National Bank are 8 percent and in individual banks it is 20 percent. That is, the funds of the National Bank are beginning to play a significant role in funding and providing liquidity of banks,” he said.