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Kazakhstan and China agree on currency swaps

14 june 2011, 01:00
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Bissengali Tadjiyakov. Photo courtesy of gfss.kz
Bissengali Tadjiyakov. Photo courtesy of gfss.kz
Starting from July 1, 2011 Kazakhstan and China will shift to mutual settlements in their national currencies (tenge and renminbi respectively), Tengrinews.kz reports, citing National Bank’s Vice Chairman Bissengali Tadjiyakov.

According to Mr. Tadjiyakov, the measure is necessary given the robust growth of the bilateral trade turnover: the current figure stands at $20 billion and is set to triple by 2015.

“The National Bank of Kazakhstan and the People’s Bank of China have agreed on currency swaps of $1 billion. (…) The amount will be accommodated within a few years’ time, not right away. Banks will be buying currency from us. Both parties will have certain benefits: there will be no additional fee related to currency conversion; the parties will be enjoying direct settlements; the measure will facilitate development of relations between the two banks”, Mr. Tadjiyakov said.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan plans currency swap operations with the People’s bank of China and the Central Bank of Russia, Gregory Marchenko, Head of Kazakhstan’s National Bank had announced May 10.

“We will be providing them with tenge, and they will be providing us with yuans. Formally, this won’t be part of gold and currency assets (…) to be part of the gold and currency assets, yuan should be acknowledged as freely convertible currency by the IMF. Such a decision could be taken within the following year, then a certain share of the gold and currency assets will be denominated in yuan”, Mr. Marchenko said. “The situation is similar with regards to the Russian ruble… both yuan and ruble are growing more demanded to service external trade (…) the gold and currency assets of Kazakhstan won’t be changed, but we will be getting funds in yuan and ruble”.

Pointing to the necessity of foreign trade-related settlements in national currencies with the neighboring countries, Mr. Marchneko specified that the US$ accounts for 99% of settlements between Kazakhstan and China.

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