Last week review (july 23 – 28 )

July 23

Azerbaijan, Hungary determine date of inter-governmental commission's meeting

The next third meeting of Azerbaijani-Hungarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation will be held in Budapest on October 8-9, Hungarian State Secretary, co-chairman of the joint intergovernmental commission Péter Szijjártó told media.

"The specific projects and proposals on the spheres of mutual cooperation, causing the great interest in such areas as construction, agriculture, tourism, etc. will be discussed at a meeting of the inter-governmental commission," he said. He added that the date of the meeting of the joint commission was agreed after a meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev.

State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan considers investing in TANAP

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) considers possibility of becoming one of the investors of construction of Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), SOFAZ head Shahmar Movsumov said at a press conference on the results of activity in the first half-year. He said TANAP is an important strategic project of regional character equally with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. "Azerbaijani government is ready to make every effort to facilitate implementation of this project, and in particular the possibility of investing funds from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan in this project," Movsumov said.

Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an inter-governmental agreement on Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline project (TANAP) on June 26.

Fitch downgrades viability ratings of two foreign players of Azerbaijani banking market

Fitch Ratings has downgraded JSC Bank VTB's Viability Rating (VR) to 'bb-' from 'bb' and Russian Agricultural Bank's (Rusag) VR to 'b' from 'b+', the agency's press release says on Monday.

VTB and Agricultural Bank are present in Azerbaijani banking market.

The agency has affirmed CJSC Bank VTB24's VR at 'bb'. The three state-owned banks' support-driven ratings, including their 'BBB' Long-term Issuer Default Ratings, are unaffected by the current rating actions, and will be reviewed separately.

July 24

Digital data base and 3D-model of plan for centre of Baku centre completed

The State City Building and Architecture Committee of Azerbaijan has completed the development of a digital data base and the 3D-model of the plan for the centre of Baku, the committee said. Estimated project cost is 395,000 manat. The State Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning of Azerbaijan has now submitted it for approval to the head of the capital's executive power. This detailed plan of the capital covers the period up to 2030.

New president of Azerbaijani mobile operator Azercell appointed

Chiril Gaburici appointed new president of Azerbaijani mobile operator -Azercell. He replaced Ali Agan on this position, who led the company since 2008. Gaburici said the company will continue to provide high quality services to subscribers of Azercell.

July 25

State enterprise on souvenir production to be established in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers decided to establish the Azersuvenir Company (Azerbaijani souvenirs), the Cabinet of Ministers said. The company will be established as part of the Zergersenaye Production Association, which is subordinate to the Azerbaijani president's office.

The office was instructed to ensure the transfer of Zergersenaye's assets and liabilities on property rights and debts to its successor company Azersuvenir and to ensure approving that company's charter. The decision takes effect from the date of signing - July 24.

EBRD: Azerbaijan's strong financial position continues to mitigate unexpected macroeconomic risks

The very strong financial position of Azerbaijan continues to mitigate unexpected macroeconomic risks. This is stated in the latest economic report of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), issued on Wednesday.

The diversification of the economy remains important as risks associated with high oil dependence became apparent during the crisis when oil prices declined. Immediate macroeconomic risks continue to be mitigated by a very strong fiscal position', the report says. After successfully weathering the financial crisis, Azerbaijan's economy has slowed as the pace of oil extraction decelerated.

The oil output decline has been only partially offset by the robust growth of the non-oil sector, mainly stimulated by budget expenditures.

Water supply network reconstruction started in one of Azerbaijani towns

The State Company Azersu (Azerbaijani water operator) has signed a contract with the Turkish company "ALKE Muh. İns. San" to reconstruct water supply and sewerage system in Azerbaijani Agdash town, the operator said today.

Turkish company won the international tender announced within the "Investment Programme for Water Supply and Sewerage System", funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Azerbaijani government.

According to the project, two sub-artesian wells with a depth of 140 meters each will be dug, power lines will be laid and transformers will be installed to provide Agdash with drinking water.

Azerbaijani State Securities Committee starts medium-term planning

The Azerbaijani securities market increased by 55 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period of last year, Chairman of the State Securities Committee Rufat Aslanli said at the board meeting of the committee today.

"The Azerbaijani securities market increased by 55 percent per year and reached 5.8 billion manat for the first six months amid anti-inflationary monetary policy and variability of a number of structural factors," Aslanli said. He added that the Central Bank's notes became one of the most actively traded instruments. The volume of repo transactions increased in the market. "The primary and secondary bond markets of the Azerbaijani Mortgage Fund decreased by 65.4 percent and reached 73.6 million manat," he said.

Aslanli instructed to start working on the medium-term planning of the State Securities Committee's activity in 2013-2015 and to ensure opportunities of wide use of the committee's electronic services.

Uzbekistan invites Azerbaijan to take advantage of FIEZ Navoi

Uzbekistan is inviting Azerbaijani businessmen to take advantage of the free industrial economic zone Navoi, Uzbek Ambassador to Azerbaijan Sherzod Faiziev told reporters. "Implementation of the projects in this area is being carried out in two directions - ensuring all international transit flights, primarily cargo flights and promotion towards the construction of industrial facilities in the area. More than a dozen industrial plants have been created in the area," Faiziev said. He noted that the free industrial economic zone Navoi is transportation and transit hub and that Azerbaijan can increase its trade relations with Asian countries, using these opportunities.

China invites Azerbaijani companies to participate in second International Exhibition EXPO China - Eurasia

The Chinese government invites Azerbaijani companies to participate in the second international exhibition of national importance EXPO "China - Eurasia" to be held in Urumqi on September 1-5, 2012.

The organizers plan to allocate 4 nine square meter stands for Azerbaijani companies at the exhibition, the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) said on Wednesday.

Such spheres as food, construction, transport and logistics, textile industry, women's and men's clothing, agricultural machinery, etc. will be covered at the exhibition. The area of the exhibition is 80,000 meters. It consists of six exhibition areas.

For more information please call: (+99412) 598 01 47/48 (ext. 104), E-mail: agasimli@azpromo.az. Contact: Anar Gasimli.

July 26

Columbia to cooperate with Azerbaijan in energy sector

Columbia intends to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the energy sector. Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy, Mauricio Cárdenas Santa María expressed this objective at a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who is on a visit to Colombia, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Stressing the country's rich history and experience in this sphere, Mammadyarov proposed the training of specialists in the Azerbaijani Oil Academy for the Colombian side.

Consultant to prepare a feasibility study for road project of IDB in Azerbaijan defined

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and JSC Azeryolservis completed the process of selecting a consultant to develop a feasibility study for modernization and reconstruction of road Zardab - Ujar - Agjabedi, the Baku office of the bank told Trend. "The signing of the contract is expected in August, and the consultant should complete the work within a year in accordance with the technical requirements," the office said. The feasibility study will be prepared by a Bangladeshi company. The IDB approved a grant worth $294,000 for Azerbaijan as technical assistance to prepare a feasibility study of road project.

July 27

Azerbaijani gas operator to announce plans by late 2013

The level of gasification in Azerbaijan will be increased to 95 per cent by late 2013 within the contract signed between SOCAR's Azerigas production association and 'Global Services', a report said. Global Services won the open tender on June 14 to purchase the work on gasification and gas supply improvement. 'About 463,514 apartments are planned to be provided with gas in various regions of the country by late 2013', the report said.

Azerbaijani Birlikbank declared bankrupt

Open Joint Stock Company Birlikbank has been declared bankrupt by a decision of the Administrative Economic Court of Baku N1, and the process of bankruptcy has been launched. This was reported in the official press on Friday. PR VAM Beynəlxalq Audit Konsaltinq has been appointed liquidator of the Bank.

Lenders can forward their request to the debtor no later than 60 days after publication of this announcement in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.

Azerbaijan, ADB sign loan agreement on large road project

The Azerbaijani government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an agreement on the second loan worth $200 million for the Masalli - Astara highway construction project in Baku today, ADB office in Baku told Trend on Friday. The agreement was signed by Azerbaijani Minister of Transport Ziya Mammadov and head of ADB's Baku office Olli Norojono.

According to the agreement, the loan has been allocated for 24 years with a grace period of four years and at a rate of six-month-libor +0.4 percent. The loan will cover the costs for the construction of B and C sections of the Masalli - Astara highway.

Implementation of IDB major water project started in Azerbaijan

"Azersu" (Azerbaijani water operator) began preparations for implementing the project of water supply and sewerage system reconstruction in Dashkesan, Gadabay, Gazakh, Samukh, Astara and Tartar regions of Azerbaijan, Azersu said on Friday. The project will be implemented with joint funding from the Azerbaijani government and the Islamic Development Bank within the 'National water supply and sewerage system' project. According to Istisna type agreement, signed between the Azerbaijani government and the IDB, the bank allocated $200.05 million for the project implementation. Azersu has already begun preparatory work to attract local and foreign companies to implement this project. A tender procedure will be launched soon.

July 28

SOCAR announces consolidated report on financial activity in 2011

SOCAR's total assets as of 2011 amounted to about $16.96 billion compared to about 15.68 billion in 2010, the consolidated report about SOCAR's financial activity in 2011, audited by Ernst & Young said. A report was published on the company's website on Saturday.

"About 4.93 billion manat fell to current assets, more than 12 billion manat for the long-term aasets," the report said.

According to the report, SOCAR's total capital as of 2011 amounted to 9.25 billion manat compared to 8.16 billion manat as of late 2010. SOCAR's authorized capital increased by 1.7 times - from 632.7 million manat to 1.059.3 billion manat in 2011.

About 1.16 billion manat fell to cash and cash equivalents compared to 961.76 million manat in 2010, bill receivable - 2.74 billion manat compared to about 2.4 billion manat the previous year.

Azerbaijan's presidency in BSTDB to put country under spotlight of international investor community

Azerbaijan's presidency in the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) will put the country under the 'spotlight' of international investor community by holding the Bank's key events in Baku, Andrey Kondakov, the president of BSTDB told in interview to Trend. According to Kondakov, Azerbaijani presidency in the BSTDB Board of Governors will open an opportunity to host the Bank's Annual Meeting events to take place in Baku in June 2013. BSTDB Board elected the Governor for the Republic of Azerbaijan as the new Chairman of the BSTDB Board of Governors during its 14th Annual Meeting in Yerevan on June 24, 2012. The Governors for the Republic of Bulgaria and Georgia were elected as Deputy Chairmen, for a period of one year until the next Annual Meeting decided to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, on June 9, 2013.

Azerbaijan announces investment competition to sell brickyard's shares

The Azerbaijani State Property Committee has announced an investment competition to sell 30.01 percent of shares of JSC "İmisli - Kerpic", the State Property Committee said in its Mulkiyyet official publication. The Azerbaijani State Property Committee has announced an investment competition to sell 30.01 percent of shares of JSC "İmisli - Kerpic", the State Property Committee said in its Mulkiyyet official publication on Saturday.

Applicants must also submit a bank guarantee for five per cent of the value of the investment proposal and the proposal to transfer 45,000 manat to the state budget. Applicant must submit a letter of guarantee of any bank for 15,000 manat to ensure seriousness of intention.

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