The experts from the Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) assess the financial market of Kazakhstan using their own index named ACRA SFSI KZ (Structural Financial Stress Index for Kazakhstan). This index measures financial stability of the country and assesses its vulnerability to specific risks by aggregating information regarding maturities and currency profile of assets and liabilities of economic agents (financial companies, non-financial companies, population, and state). Like in many other oil-exporting countries, in Kazakhstan the currency risk is stronger than the interest rate risk, and the level of financial system stress depends on the FX rate volatility rather than the spread of interest rates.
In early 2018, ACRA SFSI KZ continued sliding and reached 0.52 pts by the end of 1Q2018. The index is now very close to its pre-crisis level: in 20102013, its value was equal to zero. The growth of financial stability in the first half of 2018 was due to, first, an absence of tenge exchange rate fluctuations and a low interest rate spread, and second, due to divergent trends in the currency and liquidity imbalance.
Currency imbalance in the countrys economy has shrunk, mainly because it has decreased in the financial sector. Conversely, the liquidity imbalance has increased, primarily due to its growth in the non-financial sector. According to ACRA analysts, in the second half of 2018, possible risks for the financial system of Kazakhstan include a growing demand for foreign currency and an increasing imbalance in the economy, while the liquidity imbalance isnt expected to change much, provided that there are no considerable external shocks.