ASHGABAT, May 18 (Reuters) – Turkmenistan is forcing local businesses to sell all their export proceeds to the country’s sovereign fund, up from the previously demanded 50%, state TV reported on Monday.
The further tightening of the currency control could indicate a worsening of the severe currency shortage in the tightly controlled and isolated country, whose main source of income is gas exports to China.
President Kurbanguly Bedymukhamedov, according to the state television report, called the checks a temporary measure and also ordered his cabinet to review the state budget.
Compulsory sales in foreign currency are made at the official rate of 3.5 months per share. Dollar. In the black market, the dollar changes hands for 21 or 22 months.
PetroChina, the largest buyer of Turkmen gas, suspended some purchases in March as a seasonal jump in demand added to the impact on consumption from the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkmenistan also resumed gas exports to Russia last year, but their volume remains low. (Reporting by Marat Gurt, Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, Editing by Larry King)