Gross FX/gold reserves decreased by 1.08% m/m, reaching $28.073bn at the end of 2015, the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) announced on January 13. Since the beginning of the year, reserves decreased by 3.89%.
The detailed picture shows that gold reserves increased by 2.07% m/m and grew by 2.45% y/y to $7.576bn. This is a result of higher global gold prices. On the other hand, gross foreign currency reserves went down by 2.2% m/m and by 6.04% y/y. The value of foreign currency reserves reached $20.497bn. The decrease in reserves in December suggests that despite its pledge to minimise interventions in the foreign exchange market, the NBK might have supported the Kazakh currency, which depreciated by 10.7% m/m to settle at KZT340.5 to the dollar on December 31.
At the same time, the reserves of the National Oil Fund went down by 1.14% m/m to $63.508bn. Since the beginning of the year, the National Oil Fund’s reserves declined by 13.29%. This is a result of both low global oil prices, which cut Kazakhstan’s revenues from oil exports, and changes in the way the government uses resources from the fund to implement various state programmes.
In total, Kazakhstan reserves went down from $102.452bn as of the end of 2014 to $91.581bn as of the reported date. This is mainly the result of the NBK’s burning money policy to support the tenge.
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