Kazakhstan’s Gold, Forex Reserves Reach Record High As Government Moves to Shore Up Currency

Kazakhstan’s gold and foreign exchange reserves reached a record high since 2017 amounting to $31.5 billion, said National Bank Deputy Chair Aliya Moldabekova. In May alone, the reserves grew by $950 million. 

“The growth in our gold reserves is stimulated by an increase in foreign currency. Assets in free convertible currencies went up by more than $1 billion. The main reason behind the growth is an increase in the funds of second-tier banks in the National Bank as well as the scheduled sale of gold in the National Fund,” said Moldabekova. 

Another factor behind the soaring figure of foreign reserves was the purchase of foreign currency as part of mandatory sale of quasi companies’ foreign exchange earnings worth $156 million, said Moldabekova.

“Given the balanced domestic currency market, the National Bank completed this purchase and added to the reserves in May,” she added.

Addressing the plenary session of Majilis, the lower house of the Kazakh Parliament, Kazakh Finance Minister Erulan Zhamaubayev reported that budget revenues in 2019 amounted to 10.6 trillion tenge (US$26.5 billion), while expenditures made up 12 trillion tenge (US$30 billion). 

“The budget deficit was 1.3 trillion tenge (US$3.3 billion) or 1.9 percent the gross domestic product. The state debt is within a safe range,” he said.  

As of January, the nation’s state debt was estimated at 17.3 trillion tenge (US$45.4 billion), 25.2 percent in the country’s GDP. In comparison, the national debt of the United States stands at $24.95 trillion, accounting for 79 percent of its GDP, and $234.9 billion in neighboring  Russia, or 17.4 percent to its GDP. 

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