Article by Currency Information and Research

History of the Tenge (Kazakhstan Currency KZT)

The tenge, whose symbol is the ? is the currency of Kazakhstan and is subdivided into 100 tiyins. It was introduced in November 1993 to replace the ruble, which came as a legacy of the Soviet Union. The word means "money"in Russian, which in turn comes from the Turkmen. Already in Kazakh and other languages ??of Turkish origin, tenge means "balance".

Several republics tried to keep a common currency after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some had expected to at least maintain some sort of special relationship between the former Soviet republics. All this of course, it would be very important to maintain economic relations with the ruble zone.

Interestingly, even after the break up of the Soviet state, the Central Bank of Russia continued to operate the Gosbank services (name of the Bank of the USSR). Because of this he continued to send Soviet ruble to the banks of many newly independent countries, including the Gosbank unit in Kazakhstan.

However, with the political landscape shaken the region due to the events, maintaining a common currency was not possible. Experts point out that it did not work because for such a bold initiative is necessary since political will to consensus on monetary and fiscal targets and specific legislation. All very distant at that time, specially when it comes to the will of 15 different countries.

This scenario of instability and uncertainty lasted until 1993, when it gave the total collapse of the ruble zone after Russia withdrew from the matter, leaving many countries with nowhere to run. As a result, Kazakhstan and other countries were also expelled from the ruble zone, being forced to create a currency in its own system to survive from then on.

In the same year, on November 15, 1993, it was established the national currency of Kazakhstan. At the time it was used the following rate: 1 tenge to 500 russian rubles. For not having appropriate structure at the time, the first printing of banknotes and coinage was not made in the country. The notes were created in a printing factory in the UK and the first coins were minted in Germany.

Among the coins, tenge has units 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 tiyin. These are so normal values ??used in everyday life, but there are also commemorative coins, which have values ??of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000 and 10,000 tenge.

Already, there are notes between the values ??1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 tiyn, plus 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 tenge.

In early 2014, the Kazakh National Bank decided to devalue the tenge in the range of 19% against the dollar due to the weakening of the Russian ruble. Today 1 dollar equals 243 tenge.


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