Moody’s reveals main challenges facing Azerbaijani banks (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 6

By Sara Israfilbayova – Trend:

The international ratings agency Moody’s notes improvement of the operating environment in Azerbaijan’s banking sector, Petr Paklin, assistant to the agency’s vice president and leading analyst for the Azerbaijani banking sector, told Trend Dec. 6.

He reminded that the agency assigned a stable forecast to the banking sector of Azerbaijan in August this year.

“Prior to this, for three years in a row, we kept a negative outlook,” he said. “The reasons why we changed our estimate are related to the improved operating environment, the expectation of further cleaning of loan portfolios from problem loans, as well as the improving capital adequacy thanks to the help of shareholders and restoring the profitability of banks.”

At the same time, in his opinion, there are several important challenges facing the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) and the banking sector of the country.

“First of all, these challenges include improving the quality of risk management and corporate governance in general,” he said. “The next most significant challenge is a high level of dollarization of assets and liabilities, one of the highest in the CIS region.”

Paklin also commented on the restructuring of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, noting that the support provided by the government has undoubtedly significantly improved the financial condition of the bank in terms of both assets quality and capital adequacy.

“Given the size and significance of the bank, this support has had a positive impact on the sector as a whole,” he stressed.

(1.7 AZN = 1 USD on Dec. 6)

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Follow the author on Twitter: @IsrafilbekovaS

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