April 12, 2019 / 6:26 AM / in 8 days

UPDATE 1-Kazakh president orders central bank to make credit more affordable

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ALMATY, April 12 (Reuters) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered the central bank on Friday to find ways to lower local banks’ lending rates this year and ensure growth in lending, his office quoted him as saying.

Tokayev spoke at a meeting with government officials in the oil-exporting nation’s western Mangistau province, ahead of an April 15 central bank rate policy review.

The former Soviet republic’s central bank has kept its rate unchanged at 9.25 percent since October, but said in its latest review last month that external risks such as oil price volatility now appeared less likely to materialise.

Tokayev, who assumed the presidency following the resignation of veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev last month, is well positioned to run in a snap June 9 election which he called this week, although he has not said whether he will stand. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Maria Kiselyova and David Holmes)

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