Kazakhstan government announces to resign as fuel protest hit province

Kazakhstan government announces to resign

On Wednesday, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev approved the government’s resignation after protests in the oil-producing Central Asian country erupted, with almost 100 police officers hurt.

The demonstrations began after the government removed price limits on liquefied petroleum gas at the beginning of the year. Because of the low cost of LPG, many Kazakhs have modified their cars to operate on it.

As traders reacted to the upheaval, Kazakhstan’s dollar-denominated bonds came under pressure. In early trade, the 2045 bond dropped nearly a cent to 141.24 cents in the dollar, its lowest point in three months. 

The protests began on Sunday in the oil-producing western province of Mangistau, as LPG prices more than doubled after the price limitations were lifted. He also asked the government to explore enacting a personal bankruptcy law, as well as freezing utility prices and subsidising rent payments for low-income households.

The president has announced a two-week state of emergency in Almaty, the capital of Central Asia, and the western Mangistau region, where protests have turned violent, according to his administration.

After unusual protests erupted in Almaty following a steep spike in the price of liquefied petroleum gas at the start of the year, the oil-rich country’s government announced late Tuesday that it was restoring certain price restrictions on the fuel.

On Tuesday, the president announced on Twitter that a government conference would be held the next day to examine the demonstrators’ demands. He advised demonstrators to be responsible for their actions.

Oil prices stayed stable on Wednesday as investors analysed the implications of a significant increase of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variation. However, the upside was limited as U.S. fuel inventories rose.

Brent crude futures had fallen 4 cents, or 0.03 percent, to $80.04 a barrel, while WTI crude futures had risen 2 cents, or 0.03 percent, to $77.01 a barrel.

In Asia on Wednesday morning, the dollar was down. Investors anticipated tightening monetary policy to combat high inflation, causing the yen to plummet to a near five-year low against the U.S. dollar and losses on other crosses.

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