Kazakhstan raises key interest rate to 16%

Kazakhstan’s currency, the tenge, has the ignominious honor being the world’s most volatile currency this year after the free-float shift in August caused a record devaluation of some 23%. The governor of the Central Bank, Kairat Kelimbetov, has struggled to keep the value relatively stable since the devaluation, using the overnight repurchase rate as a…

Russia: Local elections draw criticism from opposition

Opposition party candidates, hoping to finally secure seats in the Russian Duma later next month, were met with complete failure after regional elections showed that the ruling United Russia party won every regional poll across the country. Other mainstream Russian parties like the Communist party, Liberal Democratic Party, and a Just Russia also made a…

Kazakhstan: Central Bank intervenes to stabilize currency

Kazakhstan’s Central Bank just sold another $144 million in dollars from its reserves attempting to stabilize the tenge, blaming the 1.2% daily decline on the actions of “speculators.” Central Bank governor Kairat Kelimbetov allowed on August 20 of last month for the currency to float freely after the Chinese Central Bank allowed the yuan to…

Turkmenistan scraps free utilities policy

Turkmenistan has long been known for its rich energy reserves and as a result, has maintained the popularity of its various despotic regimes by providing free public utilities to its citizenry. The government announced today that it will scrap the free provision of electricity, household gas, and water as the economy shows signs of reduced…

Russia rejects deal with OPEC, maintains maximum oil output

Russia has rejected a deal with OPEC to curb oil outputs, even after prices hit their new lows last week – Deputy Prime Minister Dvorachek and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said. Speculation that some kind of deal would occur has caused oil futures to rise somewhat on the hope. Apparently OPEC proposed that Russia become…

Tajikistan: Bomb blast causes US embassy to close

Some eight policemen and two assailants have been killed in separate attacks around Dushanbe today, in what is being described as a terrorist attack. This has prompted the US Embassy to close and has sparked fears that this is the beginning of larger scale civil unrest. President Emmomali Rahmon responded to the crisis by abruptly…