Kazakhstanis Keeping Less Foreign Currency, Buying More Gold

The National Bank of Kazakhstan counts the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves in February 2024 at $36.1 billion, financial news outlet LS reports. In 2014 this indicator was at $26.05 billion, meaning that over the past 10 years the volume of gross international reserves has increased by $10 billion (+38.6%).

Over the past decade the mix of the gold and foreign exchange reserves has changed markedly. The foreign currency assets in Kazakhstan decreased by $4 billion, but gold reserves are up a surprising 3.2 times. In February 2014 the volume of the reserve in bullion was $6.3 billion, and in February of this year this figure reached $20.01 billion. At the same time, the reserves of precious metals in the country in this month increased to 300.4 tons.

The volume of assets in freely convertible currency decreased to $16.1 billion from $19.8 billion (-18.7%) over 10 years. The National Fund is itself down by 16.1% since 2014 — to $60.1 billion from $71.6 billion. At the end of last month, the chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Timur Suleimenov said that the investment income of the National Fund was $870 million. “The amount of income to the fund since the beginning of the year amounted to $2 billion, including $408.8 million in national currency. The volume of transfers from the National Fund to the republican budget amounted to one tenge, or $0.0022,” said Suleimenov.

In Kazakhstan following the events of January 2022, work began on the repatriation and return of assets that were illegally withdrawn. Over the past two years more than $2.2 billion in cash and real estate were returned to the state. In September last year the total banking sector assets of Kazakhstan reached a record $106.6 billion.

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