Kazakhstan tightens forex controls after oil price drop

ALMATY, March 24 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s central bank has halved the amount of foreign currency local companies are allowed to buy without supporting documents, it said on Tuesday, in a move aimed at propping up the national tenge currency.

The tenge has lost about 14% of its value against the dollar since the collapse of a global oil producers’ pact that sent the price of crude, Kazakhstan’s key export, into free fall.

Under the new regulations, a company can buy up to $50,000 per day through one bank, unless it has documents such as import contracts requiring payment in foreign currency. Previously, the limit stood at $100,000.

The new regulations also require companies to sell their foreign currency on the market if it is not used for the stated goals within 10 days, the bank said in a statement.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered state-owned companies this week to start selling part of their foreign currency revenue on the domestic market and converting their deposits into tenge. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alex Richardson)