The currency of Kazakhstan is the tenge (теңге), which means something like “balance” in Kazakh. 1 tenge consists of 100 tijn, but these are no longer in circulation. The ISO code of the tenge is KZT, the currency code T and the symbol of the tenge looks like this 〒. The only country with the tenge as its currency is Kazakhstan.
History of the Kazakh currency
On November 15, 1993, the Russian ruble was exchanged for the tenge in Kazakhstan, with 500 rubles corresponding to one tenge. There are banknotes in denominations of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500 and 200 tenge. There are coins, but in fact they are no longer used.
On February 11, 2014, the Kazakh tenge was devalued by almost 20% against the US dollar without notice. This latest devaluation was preceded by a similarly strong one in 2009. One of the reasons for this was the drop in raw material prices, as Kazakhstan’s economy is heavily dependent on raw material exports.
The financial crisis that began in 2007 and which hit Kazakhstan hard also contributed to this. The exchange rate of 155 tenge for one US dollar at that time was reduced to 185 tenge per dollar, the dollar has never been so expensive. This time trading was mainly due to the devaluation of the Russian ruble, as Russia is one of Kazakhstan’s most important trading partners.
Another reason for the devaluation of the tenge is to increase the competitiveness of Kazakh exports through low prices. Kazakhstan is one of the most important exporters of oil and is therefore in competition with Russia on the world market.
Exchange into the Kazakh currency
At the moment, one can exchange currencies such as the euro or the US dollar for tenge in Kazakhstan without any difficulties, and the return exchange is also problem-free. However, it is important to find out about the current exchange rate in advance using a currency converter, as the exchange rate offered can vary widely.
You can change money in banks, official exchange offices or you can even withdraw Tenge directly from the ATM. However, there are often the cheapest exchange rates in the exchange offices in Kazakhstan, so it would be an advantage to do this on site instead of exchanging money in your home country. Be careful with unofficial exchange offices. It is also advisable to carry small banknotes with you.