Fitch Ratings identifies factors treating Azerbaijani banking sector

Business Materials 9 July 2010 13:58 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 9 / Trend N.Ismayilova /

Fitch Ratings has identified factors that constitute risks for the banking sector of Azerbaijan in the medium and long term prospect.

The banking sector weight remains low in the Azerbaijani economy, despite the rapid growth before the global financial crisis, Fitch Ratings Banking Analysis Unit Director in Moscow Vladimir Markelov believes.

Azerbaijan (loans / GDP: 24 percent at the end of 2009) yields a number of developing countries, particularly, Turkey (46 percent) and Russia (43 percent) in terms of penetration of the banking services.

"In terms of the banking sector, Azerbaijan is characterized by a predominance of basic services - short-term lending, cash management services, money transfers, while other areas of financial markets - stocks, bonds, structured finance, as well as long-term - mortgage, project and infrastructure finance, where banks can participate, is poorly developed in Azerbaijan," Markelov said.

Fitch отмечает, что поддержка системы в период кризиса, которая была оказана и Fitch notes that the support to system provided during and after the crisis by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, has helped separate bank and the system as a whole stand up.

However Markelov believes that the Azerbaijani banking system is still characterized by low levels of corporate governance and weak risk management system. The exception, in his opinion, is the International Bank of Azerbaijan.

Forty seven banks have licensed to conduct banking activities in Azerbaijan. The total assets of banks in Azerbaijan exceeded $ 12 billion manat as of June 1, 2010.

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