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Kazakh leader sacks central bank head

October 1 2013, 16:09

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev sacked the head of the central bank, replacing him with Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov in a move the presidential press service said would not change monetary policy.

Grigory Marchenko had been at the helm of the central bank since 2009 and was largely responsible for reshaping the banking and pension systems in Central Asia's largest economy.

Nazarbayev, a 73-year-old former steelworker who has ruled the oil-rich state of 17 million for more than two decades, in January ordered the assets of 10 Kazakh private pension funds to be corralled into a state fund called GNPF.

Kelimbetov as new central bank head will be responsible for managing the assets of the single fund. Under Marchenko, the central bank effectively turned into the country's largest asset manager.

The government was charged by Nazarbayev with completing pension reform by the end of this year, but Marchenko told Reuters in an interview last month that it was not certain that this deadline would be met.

Kelimbetov graduated from Moscow State University and Georgetown University in the United States. One of his recent posts was that of economy and budget planning minister.

"I believe that his knowledge of the country's economy and financial situation will have a positive impact on the work of the National Bank," Nazarbayev said.

Reuters

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