Middle East and Central Asia > Kazakhstan, Republic of

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Mr. Simon T Gray
Some central banks have maintained overvalued official exchange rates, while unable to ensure that supply of foreign exchange meets legitimate demand for current account transactions at that price. A parallel exchange rate market develops, in such circumstances; and when the spread between the official and parallel rates is both substantial and sustained, price levels in the economy typically reflect the parallel market exchange rate. “Recognizing reality” by allowing economic agents to use a market clearing rate benefits economic activity without necessarily leading to more inflation. But a unified, market-clearing exchange rate will not stabilize without a supportive fiscal and monetary context. A number of country case studies are included; my thanks to Jie Ren for pulling together all the data for the country case studies, and the production of the charts.
International Monetary Fund
Kazakhstani banks continue to suffer from a high and rising stock of nonperforming loans. A centralized approach to asset resolution is warranted, and could be based on a reinvigorated Distressed Asset Fund. A robust and transparent public financial management system should be an integral part of any effective fiscal framework. Deeper and sophisticated domestic financial markets will help decline in dollarization and the associated risks. A sound medium-term fiscal framework, supportive monetary and exchange rate policies, and overall financial sector reform is required.
Anna Nordstrom, Mr. Scott Roger, Mr. Mark R. Stone, Seiichi Shimizu, Turgut Kisinbay, and Jorge Restrepo

Abstract

This paper explores the role of exchange rates in emerging economies with inflation-targeting regimes, an issue that has become especially germane during the current episode of financial turmoil and volatile capital flows. Under inflation targeting, the interest rate is the main monetary policy tool for influencing activity and inflation, and there is little agreement about the appropriate role of the exchange rate.The exchange rate is a more important monetary policy tool for emerging economies that have adopted inflation targeting than it is for inflation-targeting advanced economies. Inflation-targeting emerging economies generally have less flexible exchange rate arrangements and intervene more frequently in the foreign exchange market than their advanced economy counterparts. The enhanced role of the exchange rate reflects these economies' greater vulnerability to exchange rate shocks and their less developed financial markets. However, their sharper focus on the exchange rate may cause some confusion about the commitment of their central banks to achieve the inflation target and may also complicate policy implementation. Global inflation pressures, greater exchange rate volatility, and the financial stresses from the global financial turmoil that began in mid-2007 are heightening these tensions.

Mr. Luis Valdivieso

Abstract

This paper discusses the significant overall progress with macro stabilization of these transition countries during 1992-1997. While average inflation declined steadily since 1992, output fell significantly for many of these countries during this period, and it was not unti 1996-97 that as a group they experienced positive growth, financial policies, the current account, competitiveness, debt-and non-debt-creating capital flows, and the initial impact of the Asian crisis.

Mr. Malcolm D. Knight

Abstract

Since 1991, the 15 countries under review - have to varying degrees, been pursuing reforms whose broad objectives have been to achieve market-based determination of interest rates and exchange rates, manage banking system liquidity through market operations with indirect instruments, and provide the institutional underpinnings for the design and implementation of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform programs supported by the IMF. This study reviews the experience under these programs and the economic developments in the countries that undertook them.