Kyrgyz currency weakens as oil prices push rouble and tenge down

BISHKEK (TCA) — Yesterday, January 11, the exchange rate of the Kyrgyz currency, the som, weakened against the US dollar, to 76.3 soms per $1, against the background of the weakening Kazakh tenge and Russian rouble.

Kyrgyz banking analyst Asel Mukambetova believes the growth of the dollar is quite natural as the rouble and the tenge are weakening due to falling oil prices, Sputnik Kyrgyzstan news agency reported.

“The som is overestimated, and this is an objective reality. But there is another explanation, either. According to unconfirmed information, Kazakhstanis buy dollars in Kyrgyzstan,” Mukambetova said.

This version was indirectly confirmed by Baktybek Choibekov, chairman of Kyrgyzstan’s Alliance association of exchange offices.

There were reports yesterday that some banks in Bishkek restricted the sale of cash dollars.   

In the meantime, the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan said on January 11 that the country’s banking system has enough dollars.

“The National Bank is present in the currency market and to maintain stability it sells foreign currency in cash and non-cash form without restrictions,” the Bank said.

The National Bank said it has not imposed any restrictions for commercial banks and exchange offices with regard to selling dollars.  

Kyrgyzstan’s banking system has enough dollars. As of January 6, commercial banks had $390.8 million, including $51.8 million cash and $340 million non-cash, the National Bank said.   

The Bank also said its international reserves are enough to cover four months of imports and amounted to $1.758 billion as of January 6, 2016.

Sergey Kwan