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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Marchenko sees policy continuity

Grigory Marchenko, the former head of Kazakhstan's central bank, recently said that despite his abrupt exit on Oct. 1, monetary policy will not change course.

Marchenko told Reuters TV that he had handed in his resignation to President Nursultan Nazarbayev in July and left the job for family reasons, downplaying a dispute over pension reforms.

"I agreed to do the job for two to 2.5 years and spent four years and nine months there," Marchenko said. "It's part of the cyclicality of my life and career.

Marchenko, who served two terms as National Bank governor, helped devise the ex-Soviet state's financial and pension systems. He was replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, who has pushed for nationalization of the private pension funds.

Marchenko said that while he disagreed with the pensions move, he had worked with Kelimbetov on the nine-member central bank board for the last two years and that monetary policy would continue as it is.

"People tend to hold (central bank) governors personally responsible for what they do," Marchenko said. "But 99.9 percent of decisions are taken by consensus."

The Kazakh economy is growing at 5.5 percent, foreign direct investment is strong and inflation has been below 6 percent for several months, Marchenko said.