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UPDATE 2-Kazakh leader nominates veteran ally Dossaev as central bank chairman

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ASTANA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev accepted the resignation of central bank chairman Daniyar Akishev, a hawk on inflation, and nominated veteran cabinet minister Erbolat Dossaev as his replacement on Monday, continuing a broad government reshuffle.

The changes came after the 78-year-old president, in power since 1989, last month ordered the central bank to focus on promoting economic growth rather than on controlling liquidity and curbing inflation.

The average pace of growth in the oil-exporting Central Asian nation has more than halved to less than 3 percent in the last five years compared with levels seen before a crash in global crude prices in 2014-2015.

Dossaev, 48, has previously served as deputy prime minister and has held various ministerial portfolios including finance. He has also overseen state-owned financial institutions and represented the cabinet on the central bank’s board.

The Senate, the upper chamber of parliament, voted in support of his candidacy, meaning his formal appointment is imminent.

Akishev had run the central bank since November 2015 and had focused on introducing inflation-targeting policies as Kazakhstan adapted to a freely floating tenge exchange rate after using a dollar peg for decades.

The central bank had said in January it could tighten monetary policy in a March 4 review if volatility persisted in the oil market.

Earlier on Monday, Nazarbayev also named a new prime minister, Askar Mamin, after scolding both the cabinet and the central bank last week for their failure to improve living standards and boost economic growth.

Nazarbayev ordered the government and the central bank to secure 5 percent economic growth this year, up from last year’s estimated 4.1 percent.

Kazakhstan is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections next year. The government has introduced a number of popular policies in recent months, including raising public sector salaries and forcing utilities to cut or freeze tariffs. (Reporting by Tamara Vaal Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Gareth Jones)

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