BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 17
By Sadraddin Aghjayev - Trend:
The sale of foreign currency at weekly auctions by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan is neutral for the country's Eurobonds, Deputy Head of the Market Research Department at the Russian Gazprombank Gulnara Khaidarshina told Trend.
Khaidarshina said that an additional driver for the growth in the volume of currency at auctions was an increase in import in value terms, which accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Azerbaijan has sufficient resources to maintain a stable exchange rate, being one of the CIS countries fully provided with the international reserves,” the deputy head of the department added.
“Azerbaijan’s international reserves, taking into account SOFAZ’s assets and receiving SDRs from the IMF in the equivalent of $0.5 billion in 2021, are estimated at over $53 billion as of January 1, 2022, and exceed 100 percent of GDP (estimated value, taking into account its growth by 5.1 percent in 2021) by providing coverage for 55 months of import,” Khaidarshina said.
The deputy head of the department stressed that Gazprombank thinks that the dynamics of currency sales which is observed at the weekly auctions of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan is neutral for Azerbaijani Eurobonds.
“The observed structure of foreign currency sale at auctions is still determined upon the schedule for financing budget expenditure in accordance with the previously approved plans, as well as through the transfer from the budget,” Khaidarshina said.
The deputy head of the department stressed that the transfer to the state budget from SOFAZ for 2022 is planned at the level of 12.7 billion manat or $7.5 billion (an increase of 4.1 percent compared to the plan for 2021).
“We also think that the situation in the Azerbaijani foreign exchange market is stable while devaluation expectations have been set,” Khaidarshina said.
The growth of the monthly volume of foreign currency sold by SOFAZ slowed down to 15.6 percent in December (compared to 58.1 percent in November).
Nevertheless, this indicator at the peak of budget spending remained the highest one since March 2020, when the peak sales were observed during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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