Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's financial market

Finance Materials 29 November 2021 11:16 (UTC +04:00)
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's financial market

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 29

By Nazrin Israfilova - Trend:

A limit for cash payments in retail trade in the amount of 4,000 manat ($2,354) was introduced in Azerbaijan in the law “On cashless payments” last week, Trend reports.

Besides, last week the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) announced its plans to carry out measures to develop the market, protect investors' rights and regulate investment operations. This project covers the period until 2023. In this regard, work is being carried out in three areas - regulation of the legal framework of the capital market, improvement of the operational infrastructure, and support of the capital market (both issuers and investors).

The CBA also published a report for the first 10 months of this year, according to which the loan portfolio of banks and credit organizations in Azerbaijan in national currency reached 15.9 million manat ($9.3 million) as of October 1, 2021, of which 13.07 million manat ($7.7 million) accounted for long-term loans.

The turnover on payment cards through ATMs and POS terminals in Azerbaijan from January through October 2021 grew by 911 million manat ($535.8 million) or 42.4 percent – from nearly 2.38 billion manat recorded in the first 10 months of 2020 to nearly 3.4 billion manat ($2 billion). The total number of transactions on payment cards equaled 33.3 million (an increase of 74.5 percent over the year), of which 3.97 million transactions worth 178 million manat ($104.7 million) were carried out abroad, the CBA’s report said.

Last week, the Central Bank’s report also noted that the money supply in manat terms (M2) in the country in 10M2021 increased by four billion manat ($2.3 billion), or 21.5 percent compared to the same period of last year - from 18.57 billion manat ($10.9 billion) to 22.57 billion manat ($13.3 billion).

Meanwhile, reports were made about the elaboration of Azerbaijan’s economic development strategy for 2022-2026, implementation of which will contribute to the growth of the national economy. The nominal GDP per capita in the country is forecasted to grow by over 10,000 manat ($5,880) in 2026.

Azerbaijani Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said last week that the issue of including the budget of the State Agency for Mandatory Health Insurance into the consolidated budget may be discussed in the country. Moreover, according to him, over 1.1 billion manat ($647 million) is planned to be allocated for mandatory health insurance in Azerbaijan in 2022.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) discloses its forecasts for the country’s GDP growth, according to which in 2022 the nominal GDP will make up over 93 billion manat ($54.7 billion), in 2023 - 95 billion manat ($55.9 billion), in 2024 - almost 98 billion manat ($57.7 billion), and in 2025 – more than 101.2 billion manat ($59.6 billion)

Following the short-term forecasts of the fund, Azerbaijan's GDP for 2021 will amount to about 89.5 billion manat ($52.7 billion).

The Parliament of Azerbaijan adopted the country's state budget for 2022 in the second reading. The revenues of the state budget of Azerbaijan in 2022, according to official forecasts, will amount to about 26.82 billion manat ($15.77 billion), an increase of 5.4 percent compared to 2021. At the same time, state budget expenditures are planned at the level of 29.89 billion manat ($17.58 billion), which is 4.7 percent more than this year.

Vice president and regional manager of VISA in Central Asia and Azerbaijan Kristina Dorosh said in the past week that VISA is ready to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Azerbaijan in the transition to cashless payments and in the use of financial technologies. Besides, in partnership with Azerbaijani banks, the company provides SMEs with the necessary range of instruments: VISA Business and VISA Business Platinum cards.

Dorosh also said that VISA has built a Business Offer platform in Azerbaijan, which includes a huge number of opportunities to receive discounts or use various digital tools for SMEs for free.

VISA is open to cooperation with all key players in the transport sector of Azerbaijan for the development of joint projects, she added.

According to a MasterCard representative in Azerbaijan Erdem Chakar, MasterCard, an international payment system, transnational financial corporation, is negotiating with Azerbaijan to expand cooperation with SMEs.

Moreover, Chakar shared MasterCard's plans to expand the possibilities of non-cash payment for public transport in the districts of Azerbaijan.