Another int'l financial institution seeks to lend in Azerbaijani manats (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 27
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and the Azerbaijani government are discussing the possibility of issuing manat loans in the country, a source in the bank told Trend.
The source said that the BSTDB shows interest in issuing loans in the national currency, manat, in Azerbaijan and plans to expand their share in its loan portfolio in the future.
"Today we are actively studying the possibilities how we can start lending in the national currency. However, it presently, it is difficult to issue manat loans [for foreign investors] because of the hedging cost," the source said.
The source explained that the interest in issuing manat loans is also linked with the fact that Azerbaijani banks are almost not interested in dollar funds.
"The banking system of Azerbaijan is very dollarized and the banks have a significant short open currency position [the volume of deposits in foreign currency exceed the volume of loans in foreign currency], so they are more interested in finding manat funds and almost do not show interest in USD loans," the source said .
However, according to the source, even in spite of such a demand, it is difficult for international creditors to gain access to mid-term manat financing at competitive rates.
The BSTDB was established by Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Armenia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. The bank’s authorized capital is 3.45 billion euros.