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Nazarbayev Urges Kazakh Wage Increases After Devaluation

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev urged metals and oil producers such as Kazakhmys Plc and Glencore Xtrata Plc’s Kazzinc to increase salaries by 10 percent after the tenge was devalued this week.

ArcelorMittal, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., and “large oil and gas companies and companies in other sectors” should consider increases, Nazarbayev said, according to a statement posted on his website today.

Kazakhstan, central Asia’s biggest energy producer, devalued the tenge by 19 percent after the Russian ruble’s plunge to a record low this month put additional pressure on the currency, the central bank said Feb. 11. The devaluation should ensure economic growth of 6 percent, Nazarbayev said today at government meeting in Astana.

Sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, whose holdings include KazMunaiGaz National Co., KazMunaiGas Exploration Production and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, was ordered to boost salaries for workers 10 percent starting April 1, according to the statement. The order doesn’t apply to office staff.

ArcelorMittal Temirtau and ENRC will comply with Nazarbayev’s request to raise pay by 10 percent from the start of April, they said in e-mailed statements today.

Nazarbayev also ordered a 10 percent increase from April 1 for the salaries of state employees engaged in education, science, health, culture, sports and social protection. He also ordered increases to pensions and other social payments.

A total of 1 trillion tenge ($5.4 billion) will be allocated from the National Oil Fund, which collects excess energy revenue, to finance manufacturing and industrialization in 2014 and 2015, Nazarbayev said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty at ngizitdinov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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