(Bloomberg) -- Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev vowed to take on the country’s entrenched oligarchs after protests over fuel price increases early this year swelled into deadly riots in the central Asian nation.

“First of all, it is necessary to analyze artificially created monopolies,” Tokayev told domestic business leaders Friday as he outlined his economic vision, according to comments posted on the presidential press office’s website. “All niches must be open to competition.”

Tokayev has consolidated control over Kazakhstan after the unrest, which was the most serious challenge to the leadership of the energy- and mineral-rich nation since independence in 1991. He used the crisis to sideline Nursultan Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for three decades until 2019 and retained substantial influence in its repressive political system even after he handed Tokayev the presidency.

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Tokayev said he would seek to reduce the state’s role in the economy and raise taxes on large companies, while promising there wouldn’t be any property redistribution as Kazakhstan seeks to recover from the protests.  

He also said the government would reform the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, which controls stakes in oil and gas producers and other companies. 

The fund will privatize about 40 companies by 2023, including KazMunayGas, Air Astana and KazakhGas, Interfax reported Friday, citing Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

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