BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.19
By Zeyni Jafarov – Trend:
Azerbaijan has maintained a quite stable credit position despite the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrey Melashchenko, economic expert of the investment company Renaissance Capital for the CIS, told Trend.
According to Melashchenko, this position was achieved thanks to the significant reserves accumulated in recent years, including those ones of the State Oil Fund and the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.
“However, the level of support for the national currency manat needs to be adjusted, and a fixed rate may damage CIS exporting countries during periods of significant changes in external conditions. This was confirmed by the experience of Azerbaijan itself in 2008-2009 and 2015-2016,” he said.
"Despite the global recovery, in the medium term, it’s impossible to forecast that the global energy market will return to pre-crisis levels. In these conditions, a depreciation of the manat by 10-15 percent is necessary for balancing the balance of payments, budgetary position and adjusting the economy as a whole," the expert stressed.
In 2020, Azerbaijan retained its credit ratings at BB + (although the outlook by S&P and Fitch was revised from stable to negative), and the volume of national and foreign debts is one of the lowest in the CIS region, second only to Russia.
“Given all the expectations, 2021 should become a year of recovery for the CIS countries, however, the pending uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic and high sensitivity to the global oil market may be sources of increased volatility,” summed up Melashchenko.