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Macrofinancial Developments and Systemic Change in CIS Central Asia

In CIS Central Asia, the institutional economic framework is found to be remarkably heterogeneous across the region: Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic are market-oriented reforming economies, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan can be characterized as hybrid economies, while Turkmenistan remains largely centrally-planned. All CIS Central Asian countries – except for Turkmenistan – have introduced current account convertibility, if obstructed by trade restrictions in the Uzbek case. Kazakhstan liberalized its capital account in early 2007. Energy and other export proceeds, remittance inflows, FDI and other capital inflows and credit booms have contributed to the region’s strong economic expansion, at least up to 2007. In this period, Central Asia has pragmatically coped with the potentially conflicting dual goals of combating inflation while preventing too strong currency appreciation (to support competitiveness). The global inflationary spike and the world financial crisis substituted a new policy dilemma for the old one: whether to give priority to fighting inflation or to bailing out credit institutions. With its relatively large banking sector, Kazakhstan was the only country really struck by this dilemma. The Kazakh authorities heavily intervened and partially nationalized the sector, which has, however, not prevented nationalized banks from defaulting. At the other extreme, the Turkmen and Uzbek financial sectors have remained insulated from international financial contagion, albeit at high costs in terms of economic development and income.

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Article provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its journal Focus on European Economic Integration.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 38-61

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Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2009:i:3:b:3
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