NOV. 2 2015 (The Conway Bulletin) – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev sacked Kairat Kelimbetov as Central Bank chief on Monday after two currency devaluations in less than two years.
Mr Nazarbayev said he was promoting 39-year-old Daniyar Akishev, a senior official in the presidential administration, to head the Central Bank.
Under Mr Kelimbetov’s two-year-long watch, a slump in oil prices and sanctions on Russia have hit the economies of Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The tenge currency has lost around 45% of its value since Feb. 2014.
In a statement on his website, akorda.kz, President Nazarbayev said that ordinary Kazakhs had had lost confidence in the tenge and in the Central Bank.
“The lack of confidence in the economy and the national currency — the tenge — should not be allowed to continue,” Mr Nazarbayev said.
“It’s important to work to fix this poor performance.”
Mr Kelimbetov’s replacement, Mr Akishev, is a consummate insider. He worked his way up through the ranks of the Kazakh bureaucracy and was appointed deputy head of the Central Bank in 2007, a job he held for seven years.
Most recently he has held a senior position in the Presidential Administration.
Although the pressure is now on Mr Akishev, Mr Nazarbayev will continue to guide Kazakhstan’s economic policies.
With the tenge continuing to slide in value and oil prices looking set for a sustained slump, Mr Akishev has been handed one of the toughest jobs in region.
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