What Is the Turkmenistan Manat (TMT)?

The manat (TMT) is the national currency of Turkmenistan. It was introduced in January 2009, replacing the previous generation of manat at a 5,000-to-1 ratio.

The official exchange rate is set at 3.5 TMT to the U.S. dollar. However, as of January 2021, one U.S. dollar bought 32 manat on the black market, according to reports.

Key Takeaways

  • The manat is the national currency of Turkmenistan. Since 2015, the official exchange rate is set at 3.5 TMT to the U.S. dollar.
  • However, the black market exchange rate was 18 TMT to the greenback in 2019, and weakened further to 25 TMT to the dollar in 2020.
  • Turkmenistan previously used the Russian rubble and adopted its own currency in November 2003, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • Turkmenistan redenominated its currency in January 2009 at a rate of 5,000-to-1.

Understanding the Turkmenistan Manat (TMT)

Turkmenistan has undergone two significant changes to its national currency since the 1990s. The first occurred in 1991, when the Soviet Union broke into 15 separate countries. In November 1993, Turkmenistan replaced the Russian ruble with a new national currency. Other countries that ditched the ruble in favor of their own currency included Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

Inflation forced the Turkmenistan to redenominate its currency on January 1, 2009. Old manat was replaced with new manat at a 5,000-to-1 ratio. The official exchange rate was set at 2.85 TMT to the U.S. dollar.

TMT banknotes circulate in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 manat and feature portraits of individuals significant in Turkmenistan's history. Coins in circulation include 1 and 2 manat pieces. Each manat can be subdivided into 100 teňňe. Smaller denomination coins include 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 teňňe pieces.

Real-World Example of the TMT

Turkmenistan is roughly the size of California though is sparsely inhabited. The government reports a population of six million people, however, some estimates put the figure closer to four million. The economy is focused largely on natural resources such as natural gas and oil. Turkmenistan had $40.76 billion in gross domestic product in 2018, compared with $38 billion in 2017. Exports in 2019 were estimated at $10.3 billion.

Turkmenistan's largest trade partners include Russia, Italy, Iran, Turkey and the Ukraine. Its largest exports are natural gas, oil and cotton.

Turkmenistan's economy is centrally managed. The official exchange rate is set at 3.5 TMT to the U.S. dollar. This rate has been in place since January 1, 2015. The official exchange rate was set at 2.85 TMT to the U.S. dollar between 2009 and 2014, until the central bank devalued the currency by 19 percent.

However, converting manat into dollars can be difficult due to limits on foreign exchange, and rates available in the black market are far more attractive. The black market exchange rate was 18 TMT to the greenback in 2019, and weakened further to 25 TMT to the dollar in 2020. In January 2021, the Turkmen service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that one U.S. dollar bought 32 manat on the black market, compared with 27-28 manat a week earlier.