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Damage dealt to Kazakh banks by SMS-campaign being calculated

20 february 2014, 15:47
The Head of National Bank of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov. ©primeminister.kz
The Head of National Bank of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov. ©primeminister.kz
The Governor of Kazakhstan National Bank Kairat Kelimbetov has commented the mass SMS distribution about the bankruptcy of 3 banks of Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports.

"You know that the several Kazakhstan's banks were attacked with misinformation, the messages spread via mobile phones contained false information that the banks were in dare situation. It caused panic among the banks' clients. We witnessed long lines of people trying to withdraw their money. We turned to the law enforcement authorities, the General Prosecutor's Office in particular, to stop and track down the offenders. I want to make it clear in the first place that all the banks of Kazakhstan are financially stable and have enough money in both tenge and foreign currencies," he declared.

"We have met with heads of top 10 banks, and they have confirmed that the banks are stable. There is a higher demand for the currency then usually, but the demand is being met. The misinformation attack is just a provocation. There are tension among people and we are asking everybody to stay calm," Kelimbetov said.

Kelimbetov said he did not know who was behind the destabilizion effort and why they were doing it, adding that the banks are calculating their losses to the deposits outflow triggered by the text messages. He promised to make the results of their calculations available to the public in a few days.

On the day of the SMS-driven upstir Kaspi Bank set a $500 000 bounty trying to get someone to reveal the source of the dramatic rumour. There is no information on whether anyone has claimed the money already.

Yesterday, a Kazakh lawyer Jokhar Utebekov explained that the banks wouldn't be able to bring the ones who were distributing misinformation about bankruptcy of 3 Kazakhstan banks to criminal or administrative liability.

Days before, on February 11, 2014 Kazakhstan experienced a nearly 20% devaluation of tenge against US dollar. The exchange rate surged from 155 tenge per $1 to 185 tenge per $1 in on step.

According to the calculations, made by National Bank of Kazakhstan, the adjustment of the tenge exchange rate will give a 7% boost to the county's economy.

By Rosa Yessenkulova

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