Most people will have heard of Kazakhstan by way of the spoofdocumentary Borat. This time the central Asian nation isin the spotlight for something real, as a victim of global selloffin emerging-market assets. After the country abandonedcontrol of the tenge, the currency lost a quarter of its value.

Here's what you need to know about this vast land-lockedcountry, literally caught between a rock and a hardplace.

1. Kazakhstan isn't poor and has only ever hadone ruler. Despite being almost the sizeof Argentina, only 17.5 million people live here. That'sless than the population of New York state. Before thecurrency blow, Kazakhstan's gross domestic product per capita wasset to overtake Russia and was already higher thanBrazil's. Nursultan Nazarbayev, 75, who has been in powersince 1989 and has immunity from prosecution for life, isthe only president the country has had in its 24 years ofindependence after the Soviet Union collapsed.

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