Tenge Drops After Dollar Sales Ebb on Corporate Tax Deadline

Tenge Moves to Free Float

Kazakhstan’s currency fell on speculation companies have stopped selling dollars after raising money to pay taxes due Tuesday.

The tenge, which shifted to a free float last week, dropped 3.7 percent to 236.05 a dollar as of 12:36 p.m. in Almaty, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It rose more than 11 percent Monday amid speculation companies bought tenge with dollars that they had hoarded.

The exchange rate is now returning to its expected level of 230-250 a dollar, said Damir Seisebayev, director of the analytical department at Private Asset Management in Almaty. “It is now trying to find a balance. When that happens, it will follow oil prices, just as the Russian ruble does.”

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s biggest energy producer, cut its currency loose on Aug. 20, triggering a 22 percent slide to a record low versus the dollar. The move followed China’s shock devaluation of the yuan on Aug. 11, which drove down oil prices on concern global economic growth will stumble.

Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov said on Aug. 20 it “usually takes between five and seven days for the exchange rate to stabilize.”

The former Soviet republic, which introduced the tenge in 1993, moved it to a free float in 1999. It returned to a managed exchange rate when the macroeconomic situation stabilized and devalued the currency in February 2009 and 2014.

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