Benefits from balanced decisions

Oct 11. Kazpravda. Almaty

By Alevtina Donskih

Benefits from balanced decisionsChairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan presented information about finance, inflation, pensions and risks.

The current account surplus of the balance of payments in the past six months has increased by 27.8% compared to the same index in the previous year and exceeded 8.7 billion dollars. This is 10.4% of GDP.

Head of the National Bank Grigory Marchenko announced the figures at the press conference in Almaty, noting that these are the highest indexes in the history of the country. Such a positive situation is largely owed to the maintaining of good for Kazakhstan conjunction in the world markets. The chairman of the National Bank also commented on a number of other indicators of the past month. According to official data of the Statistic agency in September, the inflation was 0.6%. In early-2012 it was 3.9%, and 5% in annual terms, as the banker said, the lowest inflation rate since 1999. If this fall does not spring any negative surprises, it is very likely that the level of inflation will remain in the forecast corridor of the National Bank (6.8%), and even closer to its lower limit.

Another indicator of the first half of the year is the gross external debt of the country, which according to the NBK is USD 132.3 billion. Of these, only $ 5 billion (4%) is the external debt of the public sector, i.e. the obligations of the Government and the National Bank. At the same time the share of the inter-company indebtedness, about which the ordinary taxpayers should not feel concern, is 64.8 billion dollars, and the external debt of the banking sector – USD 14.5 billion.

However, due to the fact that the growth rate of external debt in the II quarter of the current year exceeded the growth rate of exports of goods and services, relative parameters that are tied to this index, slightly worsened, according to the official press release of the National Bank. At that the NBK international reserves as of the end of the first half of the year exceeded the short-term external debt on original maturity by 3.2 times. By early October, the gross international reserves of the National Bank grew up to 30.1 billion dollars. And international reserves of the country, including the National Fund’s assets in foreign currency, reached the level of 85.5 billion dollars. The republican gold and foreign currency reserves since early-2012 have increased by 17.2%, which is a good financial security belt for the economy.

The chief banker of the country also paid attention to the foreign exchange market in September, noting that it does not cause the need to conduct foreign exchange intervention by the National Bank. On the whole in the past month the rate of the national currency changed in the range of 149, 34-150, 15 tenge per $ 1. In the last month (September) the tenge weakened by 0.2%, and as of the end of the month its exchange rate was 149.86 per dollar.

Actually the most topical issue at the press conference was the much-debated upcoming changes in the pension legislation. Grigory Marchenko reiterated his position on the matter, just pointing out that the options of amendments were passed to the Government. However, the final decision on the full range of issues, including on such emotionally discussed topic as the increase of the retirement age for women will be made by the Government.

And one more pressing question prompted the banker to give a detailed answer – about the “People’s IPO”. According to his estimates, the shares by definition can not be attributed to the priority financial instruments for the general population. Priorities set up by the banker are as follow: work which gives revenue – private property (real estate) – insurance, both of life and real estate – deposits in bank, and, perhaps, only then – securities (shares).