The slide halted currency-exchange businesses' dollar-based transactions and shuttered many shops across the country, where many retailers pay hard currency for goods abroad.
In a statement, the bank said it would ease its support for the tenge, which has fallen sharply in the past 24 hours, and limit its interventions in the domestic currency market.
It added that the gradual decrease of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program had led to a capital outflow from emerging economies to developed ones, putting pressure on emerging-market currencies.
The rate was
The chairman of the
Kelimbetov also said the devaluation was necessary for the country's industrial facilities to maintain their operations, adding that everything will be done to keep the annual inflation rate at the 6-8 percent level.
In one of his recent public statements, Kelimbetov had called on citizens to keep their savings in tenges.
In addition to many other retail closures, leading car dealers in
In the capital of the
The situation has sparked fierce reactions on the Internet and social media sites. Many say it is unlikely that their salaries will be recalculated by taking the new rate into account, while prices in stores and marketplaces will no doubt rise dramatically, since
Some labor migrants from
The last abrupt devaluation of the tenge was in 2009, when
Based on reporting by KazTAG, Kazinform, Reuters,
Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,
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