OREANDA-NEWS. Damage to businesses from the unrest in Kazakhstan amounted to more than 93.7 billion tenge ($216 million at the exchange rate of the National Bank of the country), the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic Atameken reported on its Facebook.

"The total amount of damage, according to preliminary calculations, amounted to more than 93.7 billion tenge, of which Almaty accounts for 92.2 billion tenge (about $213 million)," the report said.

In addition, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs (NCA) reported that 1,319 businesses were affected, the bulk of them in the trade sector (1,234). Also affected were the catering, logistics, financial and media sectors.

Atameken earlier estimated the total damage to businesses at US $91m, US $89.8m of which was in Almaty. According to the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, the damage was in the form of damage to facades and premises, as well as theft of goods.

On 2 January, protests erupted in Kazakhstan amid a sharp increase in the price of liquefied gas. The protesters also made political demands, in particular for regime change and a return to the 1993 Constitution.

The protests later escalated into riots during which shops were vandalised, government offices and the Almaty airport were seized, and clashes with the police and military took place. A total of 7,939 people have been arrested for rioting. Sputnik Kazakhstan news agency reported 164 deaths as a result of the riots. The country's Health Ministry later denied the information; the exact number of casualties is still unknown.