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National Capital

04 August 2013

Serik Akhmetzhanovich, in 2010 there was your book "National Capital" which has caused a great interest not only in financial numbers of the country. How many years you worked over it, and what inspired you on its writing?

– The book carries the name "National Capital" for the following reasons. From the point of view of the economic theory an economy basis, the base of society is the national capital. This broad concept, it has two aspects: public and material. The aspect public - when the national capital characterizes human relations concerning production of national wealth of the country. Material aspect of this phenomenon – directly cars, the equipment, technologies, information, financial streams. Subject of this research – a problem of efficiency of national economy. It was very interesting to analyse on the example of our country as the market economy in our country was formed, what stages it I passed, what problems were key, what aspects of efficiency of economy. In this book questions of formation of the market in Kazakhstan, improvement of economic policy as a whole, and in particular, politicians of regulation of the financial market are analysed. I made attempt of the complex analysis of economy of our country from the point of view of new basic human relations, namely the neocapitalistic or classical market relations. It is attempt to analyse dynamics, structure of efficiency of national wealth of Kazakhstan. That is interesting, at us the share of the intellectual capital in structure of national wealth is very high, and it has to grow. Raw materials – oil, gas, metals are not renewable resources. Praise be to Allah that we have them, the most important – effectively to use them. And in perspektivesamy great attention it is necessary to give to development of the intellectual capital of the nation. Directly over this book I worked within two years. It is heavy to combine work and science. I wrote to free time from work. As a whole it is published my more than 140 scientific works, 3 monographs.

– This year to national currency of tenge 17 years are executed. In 1993 the national currency was entered. Tell how it occurred? – I was the ordinary participant of those reforms which were carried out by our President. It was very interesting time. At the request of the Head of state the special working group was created. The outstanding financiers much of them entered into it work now in the government. It was difficult and inconsistent process. On the one hand, Kazakhstan objectively came to creation of national currency. And on the other hand, there were also subjective political factors. From the moment of disintegration of the Soviet Union there were some periods of relationship with neighboring states. Originally we were in ruble space. Then were compelled to leave a ruble zone on a number of the objective reasons. National currency – one of symbols of the independent state. The political decision of the Head of state on creation and introduction of national currency was made. I well remember how on November 15, 1993 the national currency of tenge was born (an initial course was a little more than 4 tenges for dollar) as tenge regulation by our National bank began.  The tenge passed some stages in the history – 4 stages, in my opinion.  At all these stages the National bank tried is thin to regulate a rate of tenge that it was sound, considered supply and demand.  And the most important that it positively influenced competitiveness of the domestic enterprises.  At the same time, the tenge has to influence positively safety of pension accumulation, population deposits, to carry out all functions of national currency. 

– You could characterize in brief the called stages?

– It is conditional classification of the periods of our economic history. The first stage – time of formation of bases of a market economy. Since 1993 when there was a currency, two bank reforms were carried out, there was a formation of a banking system, formation of National bank to its classical functions. Then there were 1997-98 – the period very difficult, caused by crisis influence in South East Asia. At that time there was a tenge devaluation, it was very difficult process. But devaluation was carried out very softly, pension accumulation were kept. It was the unique economic experiment. To any country of the world, except Kazakhstan, it wasn't succeeded to make it. Later the period of economic growth began. Also pay attention: the tenge at all stages was stable. In 2007 fluctuations in a currency corridor became noticeable, crisis began. In the last quarters 2008 and in the first quarter 2009 our financial system felt external blow of world crisis. Now situation is rather stable. However, in recent months there is a currency war between dollar and yuan, dollar and yen, dollar and pound. And this hard time. But, as it seems to me, the National bank very reasonably regulates an exchange rate.

– What will the new be brought by the Law concerning mortgage lending and protection of the rights of consumers of financial services and investors which was discussed recently in Mazhilis?

– Important innovation – protection of interests of borrowers. Limit annual effective rates, the sizes of penalties, possibility of unilateral change of interest rates will be limited. Ipotechnik, in case of difficulties with credit service, will be able to address now in bank, to open all information on the credit and to have an opportunity of restructuring of the credit, that is to reduce percent and/or the main payment by any period, to increase terms. These are new norms in protection of interests of consumers of financial services. The law will start working since January 1, 2011. Naturally, it will regulate the new relations on new mortgage loans, after all the law of a retroactive effect has no. But interests of borrowers which took the credits earlier, I think, too will be considered to some extent. The client has to interact openly with the bank and try to serve the credit on those conditions on which he received it. One of the main lessons of crisis, the Head of state spoke about it – the credits should be returned. 

– The chairman of the board of National bank Umut Shayakhmetova expressed opinion that this law will lead to a rise in price of the credits. Whether you share her opinion? – Everything on light has the price, including money as it is paradoxical. The cost of the credits is influenced by a set of conditions. First of all, cost of loans internal or external. Internal loans consider the cost of that money which investors place on deposits in banks, taking into account percent on which banks pay to them remuneration. Or the bank obtains a loan in foreign markets of the capital. Before crisis the external credits were given under 8 percent, now at least – 9,7-10-11 percent. Plus it is necessary to consider risks which the bank bears at issuance of credit to the client — these are 2-3 percent. If the client with good credit history, put risks – 1 percent. And if it isn't enough pledges, financial transparency is doubtful, then, of course, risks will increase by the client. Still the minimum margin of bank should be considered. Here to you and 15 percent – an average rate on the credits in Kazakhstan. Fluctuation of a rate depends on many factors. That is, if the cost of external and internal loan changes, the interest rate for the credits can raise, or on the contrary, to decrease.

– What do you think of idea of the President of Kazakhstan about introduction of uniform interstate non-cash settlement and payment unit for the countries of the Euroasian economic community (EurAsEC)? At one time this idea was actively discussed. The opinion that introduction of uniform currency can lead to loss of the sovereignty of the countries was expressed. Russians agreed with idea provided that the ruble becomes uniform currency. But then conversations on it somehow calmed down …

– I consider, idea very timely and correct. In the latest works the Head of state led need of transition to uniform world currency. At the same time it rather convincingly proved need of formation of regional uniform currency before transition to world currency. Even I offered the name – a three-copecks piece. Experience shows that the countries which are in a common economic space, one industrial conditions, in all integration associations have the currency. In the European Union it is euro. In space of the uniform economic union of economy of three countries – Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus - sooner or later will come to creation of such currency. But for such step the long period is necessary. For introduction of uniform national currency it is necessary to realize a number of conditions. In three countries there has to be a unified legislation, coordination of financial budgets of three countries etc. is necessary. All this demands the long period of time. If the main basic conditions, economic policy of three countries are coordinated, I think, we will inevitably come to introduction of supranational currency. Big discussion went among participants concerning the name: whether there will be it ruble, or other currency. If it is the equal regional union, disputes because of the name shouldn't be. I like the name "three-copecks piece".

– In recent interview to our edition economist Sergey Smirnov, in connection with a sharp rise in price of foodstuff in the country, didn't exclude possibility of devaluation of tenge. Whether you confirm such forecast?

– In an economic history of the country there were two devaluations - on April 4, 1997 and on February 20 last year. It is impossible to tell that because of a sharp rise in price of prices of oil or products there will be a devaluation or revaluation. Similar tendencies influence change of cost of money in the world financial markets. Problems with mortgage loans which occurred in America recently, affected some large financial institutions of America - they became bankrupts. We see today the general world tendency of a rise in price, rise in prices for food because of climate, droughts, increases in requirement in connection with the demographic growth which proceeds in Africa, Asia. Dynamics of macroindicators of the balance of payments, National fund, our gold and foreign exchange reserves directly don't show on possibility of devaluation or tenge revaluation. The tenge since the beginning of year is stable, a course equilibrium. If there are no unpredictable phenomena in the form of the second wave of crisis about which some researchers speak, the rate of tenge will be stable and to hesitate within the set currency corridor.  In the short term I exclude possibility of devaluation. 

– With what state agencies, except AFN, you cooperate? How non-governmental organization which AFK is, managed to reach such authority?

- You a little bit exaggerate degree of our authority. We work по− to the law "About Non-profit Organizations". We interact with state agencies according to the Law "About Private Business". It is the unique law which doesn't have analogs in the world. According to this law – metallurgists, grain-growers, milk sellers or financiers — protection of interests by the state through accreditation institute is provided to branch public associations. That is the NGO has to be accredited in profile state agency. The association of Financiers of Kazakhstan is accredited in AFN, National bank, the Ministry of Finance, the industry and trade Ministry, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Justice with which we work. The above departments send to us for approval all bills, normative legal acts. We received about 1500 normative legal acts on which we are obliged to make the expert opinion following the results of 10 months. On 1152 normative documents we already drew such conclusions. Volume of work of AFK very big. We discuss bills, gather from all interested parties of the offer and the remark, the working groups which present projects to Mazhilis are created. Very big organizational and coordination activity is carried out. In my opinion, the system works very effectively. More than 1000 normative legal acts were accepted with our participation. We held about 300 meetings of the working groups for the last 10 months.

– It turns out, you created ideal model of interaction of NGO and the state?

- It is difficult to tell. The ideal model, as well as the ideal woman, doesn't happen. Our model reflects law requirements. We try to be guided accurately by this law, we consider opinions of all organizations – members of AFK.

– We know that AFK have at present plans regarding strengthening of social responsibility of business. Your charitable help will be addressed to what categories?

– Social responsibility of business – broad concept. The international concept, according to an UN charter, first of all includes creation of workplaces and payment of taxes. Here two main functions of socially responsible business. And the third function – the charitable help to socially vulnerable layers. We adhere to the principles of a charter of the UN. At AFK, at the initiative of our members, the charity foundation now is created. Its concept is defined, situation by which the address audience will be designated is formed. The charity foundation will work according to classical schemes.

– Serik Akhmetzhanovich, and finally your congratulations to all financiers of the country. – One wise person – my teacher, academician Joseph Trakhtenberg – told:" Human life depends on blood circulation laws, and people life – on laws of monetary circulation". And it validly the truth because the economy depends on management of cash flows. Financiers operate money, people life, society life depends on it. Financial channels – blood channels of our economy. Thanks to state support the financial sector of the country stood in the conditions of crisis, there was a revival of financing of small and medium business. Today rather positive dynamics in insurance sector, pension funds provide safety of pension accumulation. I would like to congratulate sincerely all financiers and our clients on a coming holiday. It is a unique holiday – Day of national currency. I want to wish all successes in work, wellbeing in a family, pleasure, prosperity, happiness!

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