UPDATE 1-Kazakh president says monetary policy must provide greater stimulus

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ALMATY, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged the country’s central bank and its financial regulators on Tuesday to use monetary policy to support economic growth and not just prop up the local currency, the tenge.

Tokayev said in his annual address that the tenge’s volatility hindered investment and instructed financial regulators to make it more appealing to investors.

“The stimulus role of monetary policy must also be strengthened,” he said.

Without providing details, Tokayev said regulators must ensure that banks lend to companies instead of investing cash in the foreign exchange and money markets and that there are incentives for exporters to sell foreign currency on the domestic market.

Kazakhstan has already tightened foreign exchange controls after the tenge fell along with oil prices this year: it introduced mandatory foreign currency sales for state-owned companies and limited foreign currency purchases by all local businesses.

The tenge has lost 9.3% of its value against the dollar this year but remained largely stable at around 420 per dollar throughout August. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)