October 9, 2017 / 12:05 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan cenbank throws weight behind battered tenge

(Adds context, details)

ALMATY, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s central bank plans to sell more than $1 billion from the assets of state-run funds on the domestic market this year, the regulator said on Monday in a move certain to prop up the local tenge currency after a bout of weakness.

Kazakhstan’s rainy-day National Fund alone may sell about $1 billion this year, central bank chairman Daniyar Akishev told reporters, and the state pension fund may also sell some foreign currency. The central bank manages both funds.

The tenge hit a 14-month low against the dollar and a 19-year low against the Russian rouble this month. The central bank has called the sell-off speculative and said the tenge was undervalued.

On Monday, Akishev said there was a “high probability” that the tenge - which has already edged up from multi-month lows - would strengthen very soon.

The oil-exporting Central Asian nation abandoned its dollar peg policy in 2015 after its export revenue plunged. The tenge then lost nearly half of its value against the dollar within a few months. (Reporting by Mariya Gordeyeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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